Grateful for Parenting Resources
Then there was the time all three kids were threatening to run away.
It’s not that unusual, you know. As children grow and experiment with pushing against the parameters of life (that’s mom and dad a lot of the time), they’re really trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. It’s for sure that we as parents are finding ourselves stressed out and stretched thin with our kids in more and more diverse situations these days.
Just when all the resourceful parenting skills in the world don’t seem to be enough, parents are called upon to come up with more – more patience, more fortitude, more understanding. That’s the time to draw on any parenting resource that works.
My personal favorite parenting resource is grandma. She is a miracle worker, good listener, always has some solution and offers cash incentives too. The kids get to blow off some steam and feeling like they’ve had mediation, they come back to earth and try to work things out. But what’s really going on here?
As parents, it’s obvious we cannot only draw upon our own experiences but have to include those of our family - parents, siblings and extended family members. Good or bad, these imperfect human beings form the basis for our pool of expertise – our immediate parenting resource. If more help is needed – as it often is - we call upon friends, neighbors, clergy and teachers to help sort things out. All the while personal hopes and prayers help in ways the secular solutions cannot.
More Cause for Gratitude
We’re lucky if the ups and downs encountered in parenting struggles are settled without the need for resources outside those already mentioned. But they are available! As required, state and local support agencies are standing by and are not only willing to lend a hand; they are mandated to monitor personal safety and prevent abuse. This is serious stuff, especially in those certain cases where law enforcement has to step in and take over. All levels of the parenting resource chain are useful in their own time.
I often speak to teenagers about this hierarchy of consequences, all the time trying to impress upon them that freedom comes with a price. It is not just a protection; it is a duty and responsibility. We are actually growing our future parents in this way.
I think some of them catch the idea – now to watch as gratitude percolates up to the surface. Sooner or later, it will.