Listen to this story
Parenting is hard, so don’t do it on your own. With three kids under four, my wife was often teetering on exhaustion and I was worn pretty thin too. Thank goodness we were not shy about welcoming offers of help from family and friends. I remember Naomi saying, “I’ll go to any event that has a crèche!” And the benefit wasn’t just us getting a break – I am so grateful for the huge and positive input into our kids’ lives from the kind and caring adults they have interacted with.
Babysitters, sports coaches, youth group leaders, teachers, family friends – our kids have had the benefit of a huge group of good adults. Our kids learned skills, had fantastic experiences, made friendships, had a lot of fun with these people. I know, I know – there was a risk of some creep getting to our kids but thank heavens, as far as we know, that never happened. You do have to be wise and use caution, but not so much caution that your kids are robbed of experiencing good people in their world.
Experts say that having at least one charismatic adult outside of the family taking an active interest can make all the difference to how child turns out. Look for these opportunities for own kids – and maybe you could be the support and mentor that one of your friends is needing for their kids.