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Cut yourself some slack

A new day begins as you stumble out of bed to soothe your child, put the sheets in the laundry and get breakfast. You are really hoping for a calmer day than yesterday.

From smiling and rambunctious one minute, to a crying mess the next, kids can turn a morning or afternoon upside down without even trying. They can be interested in what you have carefully planned as an activity and be helpful with the chores one moment and then slither into aggressive or emotional behaviours the next. The point is this: parenting is no walk in the park and the last year has tried not only our patience, but our ability to stay balanced.

Every family’s needs and circumstances are different but after being locked down at home for months on end, it’s safe to say that most of us are quite ready to reboot our school and activity routines and recalibrate our daily lives with friends and family in our local communities. But re-entry might not go quite as well or as easily as we hope or plan. It could be hard, frustrating and feel like a lot of the previous progress you’d made, has gone down the drain.

Parenting is not a perfect science so cut yourself some slack. You are, after all, raising little human beings—with their own distinctive personalities, likes, dislikes, quirks, and shortcomings. Just like you. You may be embarrassed by your child’s behaviour at playgroup, have to pick them up early from school, or struggle to get them to co-operate at the doctor or dentist. Life’s like that and it does not mean that you are not a good parent when these things.

So do your best to ignore the judgemental stares of other parents and try not to be alarmed by a few steps backwards—we’re all going through adjustments right now.  And, as you set the table for dinner one more time and wash their sticky hands and faces, remind yourself of all the amazing things you’ve done and continue to do for your children.

You are truly amazing and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

P.S. Check out our interview with Dr. Whitney Casares on page 10 as she talks about developing a parenting strategy that works.

Caroline Tapp-McDougall

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