Why Isn’t Parenting Easy?

Brand New BabyHaving kids seems like a very natural thing to do. For a solid chunk of the members of societies everywhere, you grow up, you have kids. They grow up, they have kids. And so on. I imagine the planet would be a very lonely place if human beings didn’t have some sort of innate desire to share our lives with the next generation.

Oh! But the sleep deprivation! The spitting up! The crying! The worries into the wee hours of the night! The fevers. The whining. The impossible questions they come up with. And the endless questioning of ourselves, “What am I going to do with this child?” “Am I ruining this kid forever?”

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why? Why does it have to be so challenging? When our Labradoodle has a litter of puppies she does not pace the halls late into the night wondering whether she is paying too much attention to the curly one and not licking the straight-furred ones quite enough. She’s not brooding over whether a little one’s unwillingness to share the red truck during play dates indicates you’ve spoiled your child rotten and he’ll never make a real friend.

At Hand in Hand we understand that getting your entire family a good night’s sleep takes a lot more than divining the perfect number of stories to read. We know that building cooperation at home isn’t about just choosing whether to deploy Time Out with your toddler or not. We get how draining it can feel when your picky eater would rather go hungry than even try putting a green vegetable-like substance anywhere near her mouth. And we can relate to the guilt that can wash over you as you pry from your legs your desperately screaming three-year-old and try to leave the childcare center in time to make it to that meeting at work.

We can’t always make it easy for you to be a parent. But we can make it better. We can be there with you and help you surround yourself with a community that understands. We can create a place where parents can connect with warmth and support. We can listen when it’s hard. And be there with you when you have no idea what to even try next.

Parenting may not be easy, but supporting parents is what we love to do. It’s how we can make a difference for you, for parents everywhere, and for the children who will raise the next generation.

~ Julianne Idleman

Now I Actually Enjoy Parenting

A mom came to one of my online parenting classes, Building Emotional Understanding, because she felt like life with her toddler was out of control. Ever since Annie had been a little girl she’d had huge tantrums and long cries.  Her mother was at the end of her rope.  She didn’t understand why her daughter’s emotions were so big and she admittedly didn’t have a clue what to do.  This mom had already tried many parenting approaches, but none of them had worked for long.  Then a friend told her about Hand in Hand Parenting and she was intrigued by its understanding of children’s emotions, since emotions were what she was constantly trying to deal with.
During the class she learned to StayListen. Instead of feeling like she had to stop the flow of Annie’s emotions she learned to offer her daughter warmth and attention while her daughter shed the feelings that were bothering her.  She began doing Special Time regularly; setting aside time to let her daughter lead the play and delighting in the experience.  She also found that Annie loved rough housing, so she made that a regular part of her connection plan with her daughter.
After the class ended she joined an ongoing support group I run.  One night in the group she announced, “I just realized that Annie hasn’t had a tantrum for many months, and when she does, I know exactly how to help her through it.  I remember when my life with Annie felt like hell.  Now, I’m actually enjoying parenting.  What a transformation!”
-Alaiya Aguilar, Certified Hand in Hand Instructor
This story can be your own. Sign up for a Building Emotional Understanding course today and experience a total transformation in your confidence and success as a parent. You can learn more about Parenting by Connection in the Listening to Children booklet set.