Happy National Parent’s Day Moms and Dads!
Did you know we have National Parent’s Day in July?
It’s true: we do.
In 1994, President Clinton proposed that every fourth Sunday of July should serve as a special day to acknowledge the importance parents hold in our culture and society. Congress quickly The Parent’s Day Resolution.
The goal of National Parent’s Day is to:
“Recognize outstanding parents, celebrate the teamwork in raising children, and support the role of parental guidance in building a strong, stable society.”
We’re sure that gives all the parents out there a nice smile. At the same time, you’re probably thinking:
“Any chance we get a free spa day along with that recognition?”
Let’s be honest. Parenting is the most fulfilling and rewarding experience in many of our lives. At the same time, parenting can be a challenging job. From the moment a child enters your life, your world changes. Suddenly, you’re duty-bound to consider your child in every decision you make. From planning your day to planning your weekends to planning vacations, all the logistics take on an added dimension: keeping your child safe and healthy.
Your schedule changes. You sleep less. You worry more. In the back of your mind, you’re always thinking about your kid(s).
It starts when they’re infants. You’re up every night, feeding your baby who’s dependent upon you to survive. Sleep-training? For some, that means staying up all night. Before long, you get to switch from feeding your baby with a bottle to feeding them solid foods. Then comes potty training, preschool, and every development milestone from birth to adulthood.
You start to wonder how it’s possible to have a hundred things to worry about before you get out of bed.
5 a.m. Parenting Thoughts: The Early Years
If you’re lucky enough to sleep past 4:45 a.m. without waking up to change a diaper, here’s a sample of what probably goes through your head when your automatic clock wakes you up before the rooster crows:
Is my child eating enough?
Is my child eating too much?
When will they start crawling?
Is too early to start potty training?
Is it too late?
Which daycare is better – the church one or the outdoorsy one?
Which babysitter is more qualified?
Will they ever learn to walk?
Why are the contents of their diaper dayglo green?
How much play-doh can they eat before I need to call the doctor?
Why are they not sleeping?
What do they even want?
And that’s all in the first couple of years.
Then they become toddlers. Then they reach school age.
And the concerns don’t stop.
If anything, the concerns grow – and they become even more consequential with each passing year.
There’s a saying:
“Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems.”
If you have teens, you can relate.
5 a.m. Parenting Thoughts: The Teen Years
Once your kid(s) hit(s) puberty, you have a whole new set of issues to worry about:
Are they doing okay in school?
Do they have friends?
Do they have good friends?
Are they happy?
Why are they so moody?
Should I let them go to that sleepover?
Should I buy them a new laptop or is that overkill?
Why are they always on their phone?
Why did they just slam the door?
How can they talk to me that way?
How can they talk to their siblings that way?
Are they bullying anyone?
Here’s one of our favorites:
HOW ON EARTH DO YOU GET A ZERO ON AN OPEN-BOOK QUIZ?!
We have an answer the that one: it’s a special talent reserved for teens. Don’t try to understand.
The list goes on. And on. And on. Just check out our parent blog. You’ll find hundreds of articles answering questions like these.
Parents of Teens Who Need Extra Support
If your teen has mental health disorder, the list is longer.
You google things like “What are the signs of teen depression?” and “Does my teen have anxiety?” You start hearing about therapy and evaluations. Your friends insist you should explore a 504 plan or an IEP for your kid at school.
It’s a whole new world.
You wonder if your kid needs a therapist. Or rehab. You now search for information on teen mental health treatment centers and levels of care. What are PHPs and IOPs? You search for information about different types of therapy. What is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)? What is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)? Does my insurance cover mental health treatment? What about addiction treatment?
When your teen has emotional problems, you feel every single one of them.
We can go on and on about how hard parenting is. Especially parenting adolescents with mental health, substance use, or behavioral issues. But we’ll stop here.
Instead of talking more, or offering unsolicited advice, we want to give you something else: a big, huge, virtual hug.
To remind you that despite everything you deal with every day, you’re doing your best.
You – yes, you.
We’re talking to you.
You’re the parent your child needs.
On National Parent’s Day, we want you to believe it.
Because we believe in you!