Dr. Lisa Martin
Guest Blog: Dear Parent, You are Doing Great
By Brittney Felder, Daycare Teacher, The Learning Experience
Children seem to have this superpower, where one moment they make you want to pull your hair out and the next they are the most loving beings on this earth. I have the privilege of experiencing both of those feelings every single day as a daycare teacher and I am learning to understand more about myself from these tiny humans. I know it is the same for the parents I work with but they also have the additional load of worry, guilt, and pressure that comes with being fully responsible for a little life. This emotional weight is why it is so important that parents have a strong support system along this journey. As a teacher, I hope to be one member of that support team.
It is important to understand that every child is unique, and their development is not always as predictable as written in a textbook. I think sometimes parents compare their child to another or measure them against some standard that isn’t realistic or fair to the child or the parent. I know that being a parent is hard and you want to know that your child is developing at a “normal rate” but remember that the only standard that matters is what is normal for your unique child.
I also see parents’ anxiety play out when they intervene too soon when the child is frustrated or struggling to figure something out. Or similarly, when parents avoid certain things like sleep training or setting limits due to the guilt that arises when they hear their child cry. My advice to parents always is to give your child time and space to grow and flourish and don’t be afraid to set limits, kids feel safer when they know there are limits.
As a teacher, what I am concerned the most with is if the kids in my class feel safe and loved and as long as that is the case you are succeeding as a parent. Please take it easier on yourselves, you are doing great.
Feelings of anxiety and guilt about being a mother overwhelming you? Contact Dr. Lisa Martin for a consultation, maybe therapy or a group workshop can help you regain your confidence.