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Parenting in Isolation

by Ronald A. Rowe | June 4th, 2009 | Helpful Hints

picSome Secretary of State or another once said that it takes a village to raise a child. While I’m not sure I agree with her sentiment in its entirety, I do firmly believe that parenting is not a task to be taken in isolation. We all benefit from a community of others who are going through the same things we are and struggling in the same areas we do. Even better if we can find someone who has struggled and has come through to the other side.

I’m not talking about formal parenting “support groups” where parents get together to whine about how hard they have it and how nobody understands them. I mean informal gathering of parents in similar situations with helpful attitudes and stories to tell. We all need encouragement at some point. Some days you’re the encourager, some days you’re the encouragee. (No, that’s not a real word. I had to type that word three times to get autocorrect to ignore it.)
Online or in-person, scheduled or ad-hoc, find a way to get involved with other parents if you aren’t already doing it. My wife and some of the other moms from our church get together and take the kids to a park every week or so. It gives them a safe environment where the children can roam and the mothers can just talk. Some days, they talk about the kids (alright, they ALWAYS talk about the kids). But sometimes they squeeze in some grown-up talk, too, which is a much needed respite from hour after hour, day after day of talking to the five year old and under crowd.

That is why sites like Your Parenting Info are so important. Log on and leave your comments. Brag, cry, whine (there is a limited tolerance for whining: just don’t make a habit of it), ask, answer – bring whatever you’ve got. We all need to be a part of a community of parents, or we risk getting swallowed up in our own little world and becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the task of parenting.

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