Find Joy in Parenting and Raise Resilient Kids
(We can help!)
Hard to believe that it’s already June! At this point, some of your families are already done with the school year and others of you are in the final stretch. We’re thinking about all of you!
As we launch into summer, I’ve got community and connection on my mind. One of the main reasons I started Practice was to offer kids, parents, and families a space to connect. To openly talk about things that are tough in a way that helps us realize we’re not alone and offers us ideas about how to make hard moments easier.
No matter how old we are– or what challenges we’re confronting– we all benefit from being able to connect with others for ideas and support. Having a tough time doesn’t mean that there’s a problem– it means that you’re a human!
We are all on the same path– and even just being able to talk about the things that are hard and know that there are other people fighting the same battles can make us better able to understand that bumps and difficult moments are normal and to be expected… and that understanding then allows us to manage challenges with emotional equanimity rather than reactivity.
A growing body of research tells us that connecting with others is one of our best weapons in managing stress and navigating the inevitable difficult moments that pop up in our lives!
That’s why we’re working on fostering community and providing a safe space to talk about the things that are tough. We’re building community for expecting and new moms (having friends to text during 2am feedings: priceless!). For parents of elementary school-aged kids and teens (watch for our 2019-20 parent workshop calendar coming at the end of the summer!). And for kids themselves, through our Mighty Minds program— it’s great to learn skills related to managing stress and big emotions… and it’s even better to learn skills AND also learn that you’re not the only one who makes mistakes, or worries or gets upset sometimes!
As the school year ends and vacation season begins, I want to encourage you to take a few moments to think about how to build or maintain connections this summer. I know life is busy– AND prioritizing connection for yourself and for your children can pay off in a big way, even if you make small investments in that direction! A few ideas:
- If you’re starting a new phase of your life (e.g., motherhood!), do something that might help you make a new friend. Come to a class, group, or meet-up with us (June meet-up schedule coming soon!). If you see another pregnant mama or mom with a baby on the street, say hello! (As one of the moms in our new mom group said last week, everyone really wants to make new friends!)
- If you’re already in the thick of parenting older kids, think about any ways that you might help THEM stay connected over the summer, during the time that they aren’t seeing friends every day in their school setting. Sign your kid up for camp (or for Mighty Minds!) with a friend. Plan a playdate or get-together– even just 30 minutes at the park, or swap a few hours of weekend childcare with parents of one of your child’s friends. Or if you’re feeling really ambitious, schedule a joint getaway with another family.
- And no matter how old your kids are, take a moment and reach out to another parent friend. Send a text or email reconnecting, schedule a phone call, a coffee date, or a parents’ night out. Set up a time to get together, with or without the kids.
And notice– how do you feel in the context of those connections? Better, right?
A few on-topic reads:
- How to Maintain Friendships (The New York Times)
- Top 6 secrets to making emotionally-intelligent friendships (The Ladders)
- Sherry Turkle – Connected, but alone? (Ted Talk)