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You Don’t Have to Parent How You Were Parented

Did you ever make all of your calls on a landline phone? Some people nowadays have never even used one and can’t imagine life without cell phones. Parenting standards are kind of like changing technology. They evolve with each new generation — and so can you and your parenting skills.

A Biting Example

Maybe when you were a child and another child bit you, an adult told you to bite them back. That adult likely believed that if you bit the child back, then the other child would learn a lesson about how it felt to get hurt by someone. That was a common way of parenting a generation ago.

But the understanding of child development has changed since then. An approach currently recommended by the American Psychological Association is to separate the children to defuse the situation, console the victim child to help them feel safe, and also to help the biter understand the emotions that prompted the biting to begin with. It may be that the biter acted out of fear or frustration, and needs to learn skills for handling those emotions — and being bitten back won’t encourage that or help the biter make those connections.

Rethinking Parenting

By being open to learning new ways of parenting — whether from peers, by reading articles, or through a parenting class — you may learn to better understand your children, how they’re developing, and the reasons for their behavior that may puzzle or overwhelm you sometimes.

It can be a challenge to go against the grain of patterns you grew up with or were taught, but by learning new patterns and new habits, you can become stronger and more resilient as a parent. And the reward of healthy, loving relationships with your children is immeasurable.

How the Ohio Children's Trust Fund Can Help

You don’t have to take the challenges of parenting on alone. The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund has a number of resources to help you find balance in your life, strengthen your family relationships, and be a great parent.

Through our Regional Prevention Councils, you can find a class or event in your local community where you can meet and talk with other parents, get support, learn tips, and find out what kind of parenting help might be available near you.

We know that parenting can seem like an obstacle course some days, but that’s why we’re here to help you through it. We want your family to have the best chance at a happy and healthy home.