Top 3 Takeaways from a Triple P Positive Parenting Course
When my third child was born, I had 3 kids under 3 years old. Those early weeks were busy, messy, and chaotic. I remember taking one of them in for their well-child checkup, and our pediatrician, who was clearly attuned to my overwhelm of being a new mother of three, made sure I was aware of a Positive Parenting class that I could sign up for and attend. I was thrilled to find out that the classes existed and welcomed any extra support and advice in parenting.
Not knowing exactly what to expect, I showed up a little hesitantly the first day, along with about four other moms, some of us with babies on our laps or a toddler (or two) playing at our feet. I was relieved to find that the environment was relaxed and inviting, and the instructor was warm and encouraging. Any nerves or worries about being shamed or judged melted away completely and I knew I was in a safe place to share my honest struggles and to learn from everyone in that circle.
After 8 weeks, I came away with tools and advice that were helpful and life changing. Here are my top three takeaways from the group meetings:
1. Everyone struggles.
The fact that being a mother is hard work was immediately normalized. I learned right away that I wasn’t alone in my ups and downs of mothering young toddlers and babies. I wasn’t the only one exhausted and depleted. I wasn’t the only one who had questions and concerns about developmental delays, nutritional needs, bedtime routines, sleep training and schedules. Everyone had struggles and questions, even if different from my own. And, just like me, everyone was doing their best to find their way through. Throughout the course, as I learned how to encourage positive behaviors and found healthy ways to interact and connect with my children, the struggles decreased. Turns out that admitting I was struggling was, in part, the answer to less struggles.
2. Self-care is a priority.
It was honestly a little shocking when the class topic one day centered all around what time I was prioritizing for myself to rest, and to take care of myself. Questions came up about what kind of extra support we had in our circles of family and friends, who could step in to take care of the kids so I could go for a walk, take a nap, or soak in a hot bathtub. We were encouraged to make a commitment to communicate and prioritize whatever our needs were, so we’d have time to rest and re-center. It was encouraging to recognize that there were supportive people in my life, who just needed an invitation to step in and take care of things so I could get that self-care time in.
3. I am the expert on my own child.
The moment this realization sunk in was one of the most empowering moments of the 8-week course. Our instructor communicated that most often the person who spends the most hours in a day (and night!) with a baby or child is his or her primary caregiver. As concerns and scenarios were presented, she carefully guided each one of us through to find answers to our own questions, bringing our attention to cues and subtle messages that our baby or child was trying to communicate. It was amazing! The answers to so many of my questions were found in simply paying a little closer attention to my child, our schedule, and our environment. There were obvious answers everywhere, I just needed to know to slow down and look for them!
Parenting is hard work and can also be so fulfilling and wonderful.
As we normalize needing and asking for help when we struggle, learn how to take time to rest and recover, and recognize the deep well of parental intuition we have about our own children, I think we’ll find parenting to be a thrilling adventure, and one that will create secure and happy connections between us and our children.
For more information about the ongoing Triple P Parenting Classes we offer, check out our website or contact our office at 707-462-4453.
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