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Every now and then, there comes a wave of intense media scrutiny on parenting.

I could go on, with dozens of similar examples in my career as a parent. The point is that our parenting confidence is already tender thanks to pervasive societal judgment. So these occasional media frenzies only chip away at that already fragile place, leaving us searching outside ourselves for the answers, never fully trusting ourselves in knowing what’s in our children’s best interests. We’ve bought into the fact that our approach to parenting must fit in, or that our children should act in socially appropriate ways right out of the
Baby Bjorn carrier. Our lack of confidence is creating a market for this kind of media hype.

Since I sought out child development material from the Neufeld Institute, my parenting confidence has been building. Mind you, I was initially drawn to the material looking for specific answers to very specific struggles. What I found, though, was so much richer than that. I learned the vocabulary to bring various developmental dynamics to consciousness, and I’ve been provided with a map for how to help children reach their full developmental potential.

During his keynote address at a Neufeld Institute Parent Conference, Dr. Gordon Neufeld said, “What children need is for us to resume our rightful role in their lives, to believe that we are their best bet. If we believe it, then we’ll become that. But it must start from a place of presentation, from believing in ourselves as the child’s best bet.” I love this reminder, which came for me at exactly the right time—just days before another blast on parenting in the media. And it’s so very true. Parents aren’t in need of the right answer. Parents are the answer.

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