To Parent in a Broken World

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How do we parent well when we feel the weight of what looks like the world falling apart around us? The news has been extra hard to watch these days and because we hold the news in our hands and it travels with us everywhere, it’s been hard to feel like there is a safe place that will encourage a deep calming breath.

I have had to intentionally stop and take a couple breaths the past couple of weeks. Have you?

Afghanistan, Covid, Cuba, Dixie fire, food shortages, Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Ida devastation, Surfside condo collapse, social injustice… – I have literally told God this week: “Oh, the things you must see every day!” It just all seems so much. 

My heart is hurting.

I am realizing after a long couple of weeks that I am carrying the emotional weight of it all more than I thought.  

How do we parent well when we feel overwhelmed by what we see directly around us and/or in the world?  

We’ve seen the social posts: Be gracious with yourself and give yourself time. In the last year and a half, we have experienced so much loss and struggle. We need to be more patient with ourselves and others around us. 

A mother holding her infant (To Parent in a Broken World Kristin Parke Contributor Miami Mom Collective)

While this is not an exhaustive list, here are a couple of important things that will help you parent in these times:

  1. Parent Forward: keep your priorities the priorities and keep going. Tune out the extra noise and negative people that take from you, further depleting you. 
  2. Take Care of Yourself: As parents, this is very hard to do both when spontaneous and scheduled. Find something that brings you life and do it even for a few minutes a day. One small thing can make a big difference.
  3. Talk with a Counselor: This practice creates a safe place to ask questions and process events in our lives to keep our hearts and minds healthy. Our emotional and psychological health is just as important as our physical health. 
  4. Apologize When Wrong: Allow your children to experience you apologizing to them. This allows your children to see that no one is perfect and it models how to properly respond when they mess up

CHALLENGE:  Develop your family’s mission statement highlighting what you desire to live by and be known for and then set a couple attainable goals for this season. This will help you to remember your first priorities when life gets chaotic as well as help you to refocus when you get off course (it happens!).

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