Parenting is one of the hardest jobs we do. It can be a very stressful job as well. There’s different ways and parenting styles we use when it comes to raising children. How we were raised can also play a big part in our own views on parenting. Many people tend to first copy what their own parents did, and repeat how they were raised. The challenge becomes more difficult when there was abuse, violence, or neglect in the home. These issues should not be handed down to children, though they continue to be. It’s like this for a number of reasons; the parents believe this is the best way to raise their kids or they don’t know any other way and have no desire to change. It seems like more and more you hear about parents or caregivers who ‘lose it’ and abuse their kids like the couple in Dexter, MN who plead guilty to chaining their child to the bed. What does this tell us? How can we stop this vicious cycle of abuse?
Parents can do this by learning a better way of parenting but they have to want to change and be open to new ways of doing things. They have to want better for their kids. So how does a parent learn these skills? here’s some immediate solutions if you start to feel stressed around or towards your kids:
1) Know that kids aren’t perfect. They are young and have a lot to learn. Being a parent requires patience.
2) If you feel like YOU need a timeout, do so. You don’t want to do something that you’ll later regret. Go to another part of the house and take a few minutes to calm down. You can close you eyes, count to ten, take deep breaths.
3) If you need a longer break, find a babysitter. This could be a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor. Take a few hours away from the kids and do something you enjoy. This is time to relax so you can feel rejunvinated when they return.
If you’re wanting to learn more positive parenting skills, there’s places around Minneapolis that offer help for families. The Family Partnership helps families by offering therapy, supervised visitation, and parenting programs. Their Healthy Start program helps pregnant women with prenatal care. The REACH program helps women with risk factors including domestic abuse and mental health issues become better parents. Their SAFE families program help families with domestic violence.
Headway Emotional Health Services, formerly the Storefront Group, also help families in multiple locations throughout the Twin Cities including Golden Valley, Richfield, and Hopkins. Their mission is “to transform lives by providing hope, healing, and empowerment through treatment intervention, and education.” Headway offers classes, outpatient counseling, psychiatric care on a sliding scale fee. If you have issues like anxiety, divorce, anger management, you can call (763) 746-2411. There are licensed counselors and therapists waiting to help you.
Another option would be to contact the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery at (763) 591-0100. This 24 hour crisis helpline is manned with trained Family Advocates to help you with any family crisis. If your current situation is getting in the way of you raising your children the right way, they consider it a crisis. If you have housing problems, domestic abuse situations, or other issues and want the children to stay at the Crisis Nursery, that’s also an option. Children can stay up to three nights at their nursery shelter which will provide for the children.
It takes a village to raise a child. Know that you don’t have to go through tough times alone. This is a time to band together and help one another to grow, to inform, and to heal. Your children deserve a happy and healthy life so they can grow to become caring, responsible, and productive citizens of society.