5 Things to Know about Raising Kids: # 5 Know Where to Get Help

White flagThirty five years ago this week I found out I was pregnant with our first child.  I have been looking for help ever since!  My mom once observed we were the first generation to attempt to perfect the art of “parenting.”  In her generation, they just “raised kids.”

Tom and I signed up for all sorts of classes even before our son was born but lots of other possibilities are available to offer resources and good company along the way.

Here are 10 places to get help I can recommend from 3 plus decades of personal experience:

  1. Moms Support Group:  My close friend and I had our first babies the same week and continued to hang out weekly for YEARS with a few other moms to exchange ideas, commiserate, and remind each other we were normal.  I still meet with some of these friends and we now focus on our grandchildren.
  2. Online Support Groups:  Not available for me back in the day but many of my young mom friends use this all the time to connect and encourage each other.
  3. Your own Mom/Sister:  I don’t have sisters but my mom was only too happy to offer advice, sometimes unsolicited, but usually right on the mark.
  4. Community/Church group:  Most communities offer parent support groups, often with speakers. Google around to see what’s in your area. MOPS is my favorite.  Just getting out is worth the trip.
  5. Your Favorite Expert:  Choosing your go-to parenting expert eliminates the confusion from listening to too many voices.  Find one who has similar parenting values and start with them when in a dilemma.
  6. Classes:  We took nutrition and safety classes as well as attended films on different stages of child development.  OK, maybe we were a bit fanatical but every info bite added to our confidence level.
  7. Professionals:  Pediatricians, pastors, therapists, life coaches, teachers are all part of the “village.”
  8. Other Moms out and about:  Sometimes my best advice, support, companionship came from the other moms at tot swim class, at the park or even in line at the grocery store.
  9. Media:  I had a ten-year subscription to Parents Magazine that never failed to deliver some nugget of wisdom.  Newsletters, books, pod-casts can all contribute to your personal support network.
  10. Prayer.  Long, short, loud, quiet, with a lot of faith or hardly any.  Repeat often and watch for amazing results.
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