Parents often get a bad press - it is the hardest job in the world and one which you are never quite sure if you are doing well. In the earliest days, it is quite easy, as a baby’s needs are simple and practical. Instinctively new parents know that babies need warmth, food, love and to be kept safe and clean. As babies grow, their needs become more complicated and by the time they reach school age, they are complicated beings with individual needs which often change on a minute by minute basis.
The media and internet have a million ways to advise parents on how best to be a good parent and many of these are contradictory and do little to feel parents with confidence. I am aware of how competitive parenting can feel as it can seem like you aren’t providing what other parents do in terms of holidays, gifts and treats. As a Head teacher, I spend a great deal of time with parents and children and I also work with families requiring support from Children’s Services. Children tell me that spending time with family members on days out or being silly at home, are their favourite things to do. They want parents who give them time, share their interests and provide unconditional love.
From a child protection point of view, parents are doing a good job if they ensure several basic principles are met:
Stable Home environment
Appropriate care and concern
Stimulation and learning
If these needs are met, consistently and with a child-focused approach, parents can be happy that they are doing a great job. If you are struggling with aspects of parenting, we may be in a position to provide support. We can also point families to local groups who provide non judgemental and practical support in our locality.
Enjoy your family this weekend – Mrs Figes