Your job as a parent is one of the most difficult there is – it will be both challenging and rewarding. It is a job where very little training is given to prepare parents for what lies ahead. Each of you will have had different experiences of being a child. Most of you will have had good experiences of being parented yourselves, this will give you a good grounding for the job of bringing up your own children. Some of you will have had childhoods which ranged from being slightly unsettled to being very unhappy. Some of you can use your own parents as models, others will want to do things differently.
Every family experiences difficulty from time to time and this can test the best of parents. When additional pressures come along, these can make a hard job nearly impossible. At these times it may be hard to think about what help or information you might need.
When things seem to go wrong it does not mean that someone has failed in parenting- things go wrong for everyone. It is often the way difficulties are handled that can make a difference to your children, both now and in the future.
There is no such thing as the perfect parent. However, there are ways to make it a less stressful and more rewarding experience. The most important gifts you can give your children are to bring them up knowing that you love them dearly, giving them as much stability as possible, providing gentle but firm guidance and boundaries and by simply doing your best in a demanding but important job.
What is the handbook about?
The handbook can offer some ideas and information to help you find your way through what can be a maze of issues and advice. It gives contacts and further information you can follow up when you are deciding how to deal with your worries and difficulties. This handbook also lists some of the warning signs of particular difficulties and offers helpful tips.
Who has produced this guide?
This handbook has been produced by the Kent and Medway Area Child Protection Committees, in partnership with the Children’s Fund and the Early Years Development & Childcare Partnership.