Knowledge of Parenting

August 13, 2019, Shirley Blake

Knowledge of Parenting    

We welcome National Learning Month this August, which goes hand in hand with this month’s protective factor of Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development.

In this blog, I will be focusing on Knowledge of Parenting.

If you know me you know I love science and checklists. When I found out I was pregnant I had to read about what the latest research said in regards to having a healthy pregnancy. I made doctor appointments, signed up for prenatal yoga, Lamaze class, read books, printed information for my partner, and downloaded apps for more information.

The real game changer was when my son, Karson was born. A tiny little human that completely depended on me with his life. The first year was pure survival, food, diaper changes, sleep, and repeat. When he was a year and a half and I was more so out of the extreme survival mode. As I had more brain space I really started to think about what type of relationship I wanted to have with my son. At the time I was working full-time not seeing my son as much as I wanted to and not feeling very confident as a mother.  I asked myself:

  • What makes a good mother (parent)?
  • How can I be a good mother (parent)?
  • What time of relationship would I like for my child and I to have?
  • If I were to die what would I want my son to remember of me?

I’m laughing at myself because I may or may not get deep in thought, hahaha. They were good questions that I asked myself and so of course, I had to figure out this mothering role. Fueled by a lot of love for my son and paired by my extreme personality, and a couple of other contributing factors- I quit my full-time job to spend more time with Karson.

I knew I had to start engaging more in activities with other parents and children so we went to the library, organized play groups, signed up for activities and preschool.

My role as a stay-at-home-mom was short lived. I got a part-time job that was child friendly and it has now evolved to my current position as a Parent Engagement Coordinator.

My second child came around and by this time- from both work and personal experiences, I knew the things that would help me as a parent.

When Samuel was three months old, I signed up for a Baby and Me class through Linn-Benton Community College. The class was extremely helpful to learn from the instructor, connect with other equally exhausted parents, build relationships within the community and make lovely memories with our little ones. I was able to meet our new friends that we made through the LBCC class for Samuel’s first birthday.

Samuel enjoying his discovery lab class!

As Samuel has grown and become more social I knew that signing up for a Discovery Lab class through LBCC would be great! The night before the class, I would let him know that we would be able to see our friends the next day. He loved seeing his friends so much that he was quick to get in bed to sleep so it could be the next day! Samuel did not want his class series to end, as he adored his teacher Anne, playing with others, trying out new sensory activities, and learning. We are ready for our next set of adventures and looking into preschool.

Engaging with other mothers in the community.

I have really enjoyed the two-generational approach of engaging children AND parents. I have learned that if I feel supported as a parent I am a better mom. If I am a better mom than I can parent my child well so that he feels supported and cared for. Ultimately, I want to have a wonderful mother-son relationship with each of my kids. Having the knowledge through resources and support helps me to be more effective as a parent.

In the beginning, engaging in parenting classes and other child-parent activities was nerve-racking. As I have become more knowledgeable and confident in my parenting, I am thankful for doing so.  Being able to have higher-quality interactions with my children is worth all efforts. Learning more and challenging myself to continue to grow as a mother and person is an ongoing goal of mine.

If you are interested in learning, connecting with other parents, engaging in activities or would like to know more about resources and supports, contact us at 541.917.4884. Our hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm PST.

Please click here to view classes and workshops!

Upcoming workshop- Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development

In this Corvallis workshop, child and family well-being starts with promoting protective factors. Participants will explore how caregivers who understand the usual course of child development are more likely to provide children with respectful communication, consistent rules and expectations, and opportunities that promote independence. Adjusting caregiving styles for a child’s unique temperament or special needs will also be examined.

Call Family Connections/Pollywog 541-917-4884 to sign up.

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