Thursday, 17 May 2018 06:48

The Challenge of Parenting

Written by  Candyce Anderson, LPC
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I fondly remember learning how to drive. My mother was dead-set on driving lessons so that I would be prepared to operate a 2000 pound piece of machinery on a road packed with not only pedestrians, but cute fluffy animals.  I studied day and night to earn my permit, drove with instructor Ms. Burton for 6 months and passed my road-test on the first go ‘round. It was official; I was a licensed vehicle operator with all the privileges therein vested in my 16 year-old abilities.


Now, when I became a mother – not so much. After waking-up, an angelic like figure glided into the room and literally put a life in my arms. A living breathing life, which required not only 24-hour care and oversight, but love, compassion, and lots of diapers. This tiny being came with no classes, no road-test and not even an instruction manual.


Parents certainly have their work cut out for them.  Despite our best efforts there will be times where we drop the ball, miss it, and get it wrong.  After all, we are human and with God’s grace we do our best to mitigate any harm. Proverbs 22:6 reminds us to train up a child in the way he should go and that even when he is old he will not depart from it.  What a comfort that is. God also gives the knowledge and wisdom to understand better the ways in which we can care for our children spiritually, physically and psychologically.


According to Cathy Wood, MD, long-time pediatrician at Partners in Pediatrics in Montgomery and past president of the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Today’s families, especially our children, are under tremendous stress with the potential to damage both physical health and psychological well-being.”


Dr. Wood continues, “Death, illness, divorce, crime, poverty and other negative impacts have defined an evolving landscape for raising our families. How do we manage to parent from a place of love and understanding, not fear and paranoia?  It’s not possible to protect our children from the ups and downs of life. But it is possible to provide them with the tools they need to respond to the challenges of adolescence and young adulthood, and to navigate successfully in adulthood.  In today’s environment, children and teens need to develop strengths, acquire skills to cope, recover from hardships, and be prepared for future challenges.”


My colleague and children’s therapist Monica Cone, M.Ed, LPC, suggests that some of the most common concerns amongst parents include:


* My home feels out of control.

* I feel overwhelmed as a single parent.

* My kids ignore me when you try to talk to them.

* Every conversation with my teen ends in anger and yelling at each other.

* I’m at a loss of what to do when my child isolates herself in her room.

* I’m frustrated with how much time my child spends on the computer…phone…with video games.

* I feel disrespected and unappreciated as a parent.



When all is said and done, we do our best with what we’re given. Parenting is an experience, one of mess-ups, mistakes, wins, oh-no’s and accomplishments, all of which comprise the journey. There will be detours, valleys, plateaus and  mountaintops, but thankfully we have Christ as our guide providing the support from the heavens and our village providing support here in the earth.


When you are lost, ask for guidance without shame or embarrassment. Our doors are always open at the Samaritan Counseling Center. 



Last modified on Monday, 21 May 2018 09:37
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