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Most countries offer some form of voluntary parenting training. There is a wide range of pre-birth and post birth programmes that aim to enhance the preparation of parents to address parenting issues. Books are widely available and online support forums are on the rise. Parenting is complex and, in plain words, hard. When you think about it, two young parents (sometimes one) are expected to give birth to a human being and for the coming decade invest time in caring and protecting their offspring whilst training the child to become a functional adult in society. This work requires a viable basic knowledge of the body and the mind; two areas which are usually addressed through many years of professional training. No wonder that many parents feel overwhelmed when they are alone at home. To make matters worse, most programs seem engaged in some kind of competition; one method claiming superiority over another, thus creating further confusion in parents.  Applying the knowledge derived from books, blogs and videos can be tricky because it is not easy to tailor methods, which are generic in nature, to the needs of the specific child.

My blog today may seem as though it is taking the reader to no solution. But that is the entire scope. Sometimes, there is no readily available solution to your problem, or perhaps more than one option for now you have not met in books or in conversations. Part of my intention to day is to validate feelings of powerlessness in parents, and hopefully raise awareness with critical non-parents about the hardships experienced in the family. Parents require support and understanding. There is nothing more draining than the feeling of being scrutinised or judged. Helping one another in a healthy community can make a difference. So, I implore you, abandoned the idea that today’s parents are horrible – that idea helps no one. Ask rather how you can support.

Steve Libreri is a social worker and parent coach within Willingness. He offers parent coaching and social work sessions. He can be contacted on steve@willingness.com.mt.