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  • Writer's pictureAlley Dezenhouse Kelner

Parenting...Am I doing this right?

No matter how you were raised you probably ended up an adult who vowed never to repeat certain choices made by your parents; but hopefully, it wasn’t all bad! You probably even promised yourself you would uphold certain traditions or customs of your childhood.

Just the other day I overheard my husband and brother in law laughing about those quintessential “mom-isms” they remember from their childhood; it’s funny what sticks.

When you become a parent you may spend a good deal of time considering all the various ways your parents ruined you—OK maybe that a bit dramatic, but we’ve all had that thought! It was a different time, and the world was a very different place way back when (“we left our front doors unlocked for goodness sake and there were candies that cost a penny!”) I think it’s fair to say that no matter the age gap between you and your parents, we will always know more than the generation before us. Imagine what our kids will think of our choices; what will they know that we don’t?

Cue heart palpitations…

For better or worse, we’re the generation of parents with access to information at our finger tips; we are truly doing this whole parenting thing WAY differently than most of our parents. If our parents had questions, they asked doctors (if they were lucky), read books (if they had access) or asked their parents (where opinion and fact are hard to separate)…

I can hear my mom saying “and you turned out OK, didn’t you?” To which I usually reply (half joking and half serious) “yes but think of how much BETTER I could have been!

For generations parents learned by trial and error and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that; but think of the stress that could be avoided if we actually felt (confidently) that we were (at least mostly) doing the RIGHT thing! We’re fortunate to live in a time where there are literally experts on everything; you can search online and find a blogger giving advice on everything from kale cleanses to sleep training. Sometimes, a blog post does the trick to make a parent feel validated, empowered and ready to take on the world but sometimes, it’s not quite enough.

My point here is twofold:

  1. When you have a question or want to commiserate, by all means Google it! But, keep in mind that not everyone is truly an expert. In a day in age where anyone can host a blog, credentials matter and it may be wise to find a reputable source and recognize that just because I make a mean lasagna doesn’t make me a Michelin chef.

  2. Even though we have information at our finger tips, and even though our parents learned by trial and error and “we turned out just fine” we aren’t doomed to the same fate. We can ask for help; in fact there is an industry emerging from the need for parents to have a support network.

So what am I getting at?

Even though you may, at times, feel totally unprepared for parenthood and overwhelmed by the notion of learning as you go, you are actually just on the cusp of figuring it all out. For some, it comes naturally. For others, it feels more comfortable to ask for help.

We likely all have one friend, colleague or acquaintance in a parenting forum who seems to have all the answers; here’s a dirty little secret, even those of us who seem to be “naturals” have mentors who guide us.

Even though I’ve been supporting parents on their parenting journeys for most of my career it recently became clear to me that many parents would welcome a kind of kick-starter programm to get them confidently going in the direction of informed parenting. Whether it’s support developing a plan for a specific challenge (feeding, sleeping, discipline, socialization, child development) or a more general program geared towards unlocking your parenting style, smoothing out kinks in a morning household routine or generally establishing more (or less) structure into your home you don’t have to go at it alone!

I’ve created a few parenting packages for these, and other, challenges and left a few open enough that we can individualize a plan that makes sense for your family. Want more information? There’s absolutely no charge to call and talk to me directly to “feel me out” and see if this program might work for you!

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