I know it’s a cliche, but parenting really is one of the the hardest jobs in the world. And it certainly is one of the most important. But for such a difficult and important job, it’s surprising how few of us actually bother to learn how to do it properly.
That last statement may have gotten some hackles up – of course you know how to properly raise your kid! But is it possible that you could learn to do it better through parenting classes?
Actress Helena Bonham Carter recently admitted that she and her husband, film director Tim Burton, are taking parenting classes to help them with their two children, seven-year-old Billy Ray and two-year-old Nell. I use the word ‘admitted’ because seeking help in doing what many feel should come naturally can be seen as a weakness. This is especially true if you happen to be surrounded by other parents who are secure in the knowledge that they themselves have it all figured out.
But the Harry Potter actress isn’t afraid to tell the world that she doesn’t have it all figured out. In an interview with the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex, Helena Bonham Carter sings the praises of parenting classes.
The parenting bit is much harder than the acting bit. You just never know what to do. So me and Tim were sort of fed up with getting hurt. ‘What do we now?’ But the parenting class has been really useful. It’s a bit like Parenting Anonymous. There’s a group of parents just spewing out their latest trauma of the week. ’I’m Helena, and I’m a mother.’ But there are some basics that are so helpful.
I find her candor refreshing. Sometimes she is at a loss when it comes to what to do about her kids! Aren’t we all?
I think that many of us have a do-it-yourself mentality that often gets in the way of doing what’s best – especially when it comes to parenting. While we don’t hesitate to seek out professional help when our car acts up, we think we have to figure it for our ourselves when our kids do. Not knowing what to do may make you feel like a parental failure, but the real failure is knowing you need help and not getting it.
I n that regard, I failed my first child. I sure could have used some help with raising her – especially as she approached her teen years. I didn’t get it for a number of reasons, not the least of which was my belief that I should be able to handle it on my own. In the end, I did handle it – she’s a well-adjusted and successful adult. But I feel sure I could have saved us both a lot of pain and heartache along the way had I reached out for help.
What about you? Have you – or would you – seek out professional parenting assistance?
Image: Made In Hollywood/Flickr
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