I’m taking an online course at the moment, and during class the other day, the teacher reminded us to ASK FOR HELP when we need it rather than muddling through on our own. I laughed to myself at the directness of the statement. Until I sat back and considered the number of times I’ve plowed along on my own, thinking that asking for help may seem like a sign of weakness or as if I’m not good enough at whatever “it” happens to be. I am struck by how often I hear people voice similar sentiments — especially parents I’ve worked with who cringe as they say something like, “I’m just not sure what to do…” As if it is some grand failure on their part that they don’t know all of the answers when it comes to parenting.
WHY do we do this to ourselves? We know perfection is unrealistic and don’t expect it of others, yet we frequently hold ourselves to standards that easily lead to us feeling not good enough, or even worse, like we’re all alone.
But wait one minute! We weren’t born on this earth to each live on our own little islands. We were born to live in communities where we can ask for help and support each other. You know, like in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”? When I think about what that statement really means, I marvel at how much tribal people depend on one another. How they grow up knowing they are all inherently important to the health and wealth (economic and emotional) of everyone in the village. Everyone pitches in. They communicate their needs and help each other. They all are good enough.
Join the Village.
So what does today’s village look like? Beyond immediate and extended family, here are a few ideas for reaching out to expand your tribe and to cultivate relationships that feel safe enough to ask for help.
- Connect with your child’s school. School events are a way to get to know your child’s teacher, which is great. But they’re also a way to get to know other parents who have children the same age as yours — for that reason alone, you KNOW they’re dealing with issues similar to the ones you are!
- Is there a parent in your child’s class that seems interesting but who you really don’t know? Reach out to him/her this week and make a play date with your kids. (Go on — do it. The worst thing that’ll happen is they say no.)
- Are you on Facebook? Join groups like Annapolis Moms, Raising Kids with a Growth Mindset, and/or a group related to your work if you are a working parent. These groups are a safe and extremely supportive option for connecting and collaborating with other parents who are dealing with the same kinds of issues you are. Even if you never make one post, I promise something someone else posts will resonate with you at least once!
With Your Child
We help boost our children’s self-confidence by talking about their strengths and beautiful qualities from a young age. Try doing this activity together!
from Drip, Drop & Drizzle