When hubby and I decided to start a family we were pretty sure we already knew all there was to know about raising a child. We could feed it, snuggle it, change its poopy diapers – that’s all there was to it, right? Piece of cake!
Pan to a few years later when we’re practically pulling our hair out because our 4-year old is hitting, spitting, swearing, growling and being kicked out of daycare (twice!). Our son was clearly going through something and we didn’t know how to help him. That was seven months ago. That was when I left work and we looked into getting some real help.
After what seemed like constant appointments with different pediatricians and psychologists to confirm that there was actually no diagnosis to be made, we were pointed in the direction of a 12-week parenting program called The Incredible Years. It seemed as though, despite what we were hearing from past daycare providers, there was actually nothing wrong with our son (thankfully!) and in fact, the problem was with how we were parenting him. We clearly needed to brush up on our skills so we breathed deeply, checked our egos and committed to the 12-weeks.
The Incredible Years is a free program offered through the City of Hamilton’s Public Health department. I don’t think I have ever been more grateful to live in a city with such amazing resources at our fingertips. The change we have seen in our son’s behaviour is astounding and all because we have committed to slight changes in our parenting habits. There were six families taking part in the program and all of us have seen amazing results in our kids. I’m sure that isn’t a coincidence.
I encourage you to check out the resources offered where you live and sign up for the program yourself. If you prefer the quick and dirty version instead, fear not – I will share it here every Thursday. Parenting is a hard gig; I think we could all use a little refresher now and then.