Raising children is one of the most challenging jobs we will ever be asked to do and yet there is little to no 'testing' to see if we have the skills to match the challenge. Additionally, the landscape changes from generation to generation, and therefore, what worked from our own upbringing may well not be applicable for the next generation.
When challenges to youth mental health are increasing and parents across the globe are at a loss as to the cause and how they can support their children, is it time to prioritise parental support and take the stigma out of ongoing parental education?
In most industries, there is an understanding that it is vital to get training for skilled jobs, managing staff and conflict resolution. What if parenting was similar – you need relationship skills in parenting, conflict resolution, time management to name but 3 key areas that companies focus on. Theories and approaches change and often businesses value the support that can come from getting personnel doing similar jobs together. Support from a similar cohort means you can share experiences and feel like you are not alone. This experience in parenting is no different. You are the unpaid Chief Executive Office (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Managing Director (MD) of a company that is continuously changing. The employees stay the same, they are life members (your children) they have the potential to leave but essentially, they are shareholders so they will often stay engaged and involved. Your client base changes as the shareholders/ employees ‘needs’ change, and there may be multiple services and delivery methods and timelines required. You need a great deal of skill to navigate this and the Human Resources department (HR) works overtime in conflict resolution, pay negotiations, dealing with unions or perhaps denying access to all those options and working more as a dictatorship! So, if companies work in this way, valuing the importance of continual professional development then, why don’t we value what we bring to our families? Why don’t parents go to school information nights when it is to do with wellbeing as opposed to the curriculum? Why don’t parents sign up to parenting courses and groups? The job of a parent is the most amazing opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the future of our world. There is nothing shameful in getting support from others, we are a community and as such we should be ready and willing to live, work, parent and support each other as equal family members. So rather than save so you can pay for the consequences of not engaging with each other and seeing the rise of poor mental health, consider investing in prevention strategies, in an empowerment model that offers considered skills to bring in to your day to day living. Consider investing in your very own companies CPD program - continuous parental development! Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay