Protecting Our Children in a Changing World


By Ron Hindbaugh M.A.


Sometimes the job of parenting can be a very lonely spot to be in. It may seem as if no one understands what we are going through or that we are the only parent in the world who has the problems we have. Analyzing the situation does not seem to help. We just canít figure out what went wrong and no matter what we try our child does not improve.

If we find that we are frustrated and have the feelings I have described the first step is to get rid of the idea that we must be a perfect parent, that we must have the perfect family. You may think that other families are perfect, whatís the matter with yours? This is a silly but common idea. There is no such thing as the perfect family. Families that appear perfect are just families you just donít know very well. There is no family on earth that escapes rough times. Problems are just part of living.

When we find that we are scared for our child, scared for ourselves, and we don't know what to do, it is time to recognize our limitations, swallow our pride, and get on our knees. It is time to seek out the advice of those we love and tap into community resources. It is time to try new ideas or utilize services that have been developed to help families in crisis.

The art of parenting is learned on the job. Most of the problems faced raising kids are "first time" problems. Parents do not bring with them years of experience raising kids. Many parents will tell you that when they got good at parenting, the kids were all raised. Therefore it is wise for the inexperienced parent to search out resources that make parenting easier and provide the temporary support you may need.

Because we try to ďgo it aloneĒ we may not be aware of the support that is available. Swallow you pride. Take of the blinders. Identify your resources and the support team you need. It wonít be easy but seeking assistance will provide support direction and, in time, you will look back and be thankful for what you and your family have learned in the process.

Seek out family members that you relate to. Talk with your parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, or sisters. Find someone who will be honest with you and support you as you learn from living and tackle the job of handling a problem or problem child.

There are many resources that you can tap into. Make sure you include your church family and friends. Donít forget to consult with your minister. He or she has chosen to live a life of service and as a result may have some insight or be able to refer you to resources that may assist you with your problems.

Other resources to consider are the many community services that are provided for by tax dollars. Success by Six is available to parents of young children. If you want to access these resources just dial 279-0066. There are also other community agencies and resources available to families in crisis, depending on your need. For counseling and mental health services contact Pines Behavioral Health Services at 278-2404. For financial assistance or protective services contact the Family Independence Agency at 278-4200.

If your child will not listen to your counsel and rebels against your advice, do not blame yourself for their behavior and do not try to manhandle or control them all by yourself. If they try to harm you or others and/or are not respectful of the property of others call 911 and seek the help of those trained to enforce the law. Trying to handle such a problem alone is not wise and may be impossible to do. Instead seek advice from the Juvenile Court at 279-4316.

It is not easy being a parent and when we try to face difficult or complicated problems without the support of family, friends, church, or the community we take on burdens we do not have to bear. Parenting is not an easy task and all of us face parenting challenges without the experience or expertise we would like to have. Therefore, if you need help donít feel you have to go it alone.