This blog serves as a summary of the last two blogs on how parents can self-assess their parenting needs as they transition out of the pandemic, and ways that they can attempt to recover from the demands of the past year and a half. By offering a sample Parent Development Plan that parents can complete and execute on their own, I’m hoping to help parents emerge better off than they were prior to March 2020.
First, take a moment and reread the last two posts here [ The Pandemic Hangover for Parents and How to Give Yourself A Parent Check-Up ]. Next, think through the questions in the attached Parent Development Plan and craft your own growth promoting strategies. Try to use simple language and sparse words(if you can), in order to help you apply the plan to daily life. Leave the plan on your desk where you work or in a book by your bedside that you read nightly. Look at it frequently if you can. Repetition and Reminders are key here. Parenting growth takes practice just like any other skill.
You can refer to the Parent’s Toolkits for Social Emotional Development and choose one skill from each area to add to your plan to work on regularly.
Lastly, go easy on yourself. None of us were taught this stuff. Think about it. Nobody expects kids to learn soccer without regular soccer practice and skills clinics. We always provide orientation and instruction for new hires when they start a new job. So, why do we expect parents to know these skills without practice or instruction? Parenting is the ultimate on-the-job training kind of job. And while it isn’t our fault that society expects us to know how to parent well for both typical and atypical children alike, it is our responsibility to support ourselves well so that we can give our kids good skills and plans as they grow.