“This is because of the party, right?” I was asking my friend this as she was inviting me to join a new parenting group. “Oh no…it’s for all of us!” Hmmm…
I started to recall the events of the previous weekend. My son went to his first “real” birthday party. There was a bouncy house, toys, coloring, and story reading and everyone was having a great time.
Just minutes after our arrival, my son started acting out. He began pushing down younger siblings and ignoring people that spoke to him. He ran away from me and I chased him around the house and yard. I was becoming more embarrassed and frustrated by the minute. Different people tried to console me as I started to cry. They kept telling me that it was okay and that he wasn’t doing anything terrible. When I looked out at all the participants, it was obvious to me that he was receiving this party in a way that was very different than the others.
Minutes later, I took my TBP home early and cried the whole way home (I did a lot of crying in the earlier years). I was crying because I was embarrassed and I was feeling incompetent, but looking back…I was emotional because of fear. Fear that there was something wrong. That continued, nagging voice that told me that something was not “normal.” At the time, my perspective was that everyone else made parenting look easy. Now I know that isn’t the truth, but at the time this belief only made my insecurities grow like wild fire!
No matter how (or why) the parenting group got started, I’m so glad that it did! We have met off and on for the last 3 years (meeting this week) and we have all benefitted. It seems that different people need more support at different times ( I needed a lot for many meetings…especially shortly after the smelling shampoo in Target thing happened) and we all are there for the one that is having a rough time. Our small , but consistent group is lead by a wonderful Love and Logic trained parenting coach. She shows up with resources and is ready to answer our questions. If she doesn’t know the answer, she will research it.
If you have a child that challenges you, consider finding a parenting group. The support is worth the time and extra planning that it takes to get you there! I would love to hear about your parenting support ideas, suggestions, or quirky stories!