Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Parenting Myth Busting with CANparent

When you find out you're pregnant, it's supposed to be a happy and joyous time. Most of the time it is. But if you are one of the last in your group of friends to have a baby, you often find various tips, myths and problems thrown at you with absolutely no clue as to what is the truth or not.

That is where CANparent comes in.

CANparent is a Classes and Advice Network that does exactly what it says on the tin. It is directed at anyone who feels they may benefit from taking parenting classes or asking advice on any niggles, doubts or worries that they may have about this brand new world of parenting that you find yourself thrown head first in to.

I myself worried about everything. I worried about how warm should I wrap up my baby. How many blankets was enough? What if I didn't understand that my babies cry meant she had tummy ache and not ear ache?
And now that she's older, those worries just get worse. How do I know that she's on track to where she needs to be? Is there anything that we as parents can do to ensure that she's a confident and happy child?

All of these worries pile up to one huge panic and sometimes you feel like you just can't breathe. CANparent is there to offer advice and help you in those times of need.

There are always so many antenatal classes that you are encouraged by your midwife to attend, but once your baby is finally here.. there's not much help beyond that. A lot of people seem to have issues with Health Visitors and their textbook ways, many don't want to bother their GP's every time their child sneezes funny, and most just don't know where to turn to for advice. Well, all of that can change.

I think the biggest myth of parenting - and probably the most worrying - is that children who sit up, walk and talk earliest are the smartest.

When it's your first child and you're surrounded by friends with babies of a similar age, it's very difficult not to compare. It's even harder not to become worried when you notice that their children can do a lot of things that yours can't. You begin to worry that they're behind, they're going to struggle, all of the other children and babies must be smarter and more advanced.

I recently received a letter in the post from my local GP practice about what Princess should be able to do now that she's 3. One of the things on the list was that she should be able to dress herself. To be honest, I received this letter 2 days after her Birthday and I wasn't aware of any other 2 year olds who could actually dress themselves - but I turned to my online community to ask for advice. It turns out that no - it's not something that children should be doing BY the time they turn 3, but something they should be learning. Panic over. Some of the children could dress themselves, but according to the studies - this doesn't make them any more advanced or smarter than those of us with kids who couldn't.

I was glad that I didn't need to worry, but without my online community of friends, it would have been quite easy for me to panic and ring my Health Visitor asking why my child was behind.

CANparent aims to help aid these sorts of questions, whether they be from parents, grandparents or even step parents. Anyone involved with raising a child. There are also classes available for same-sex parents, fathers and step-parents where they can gain advice specifically designed for them. This advice can be accessed in a variety of ways. You can choose to attend a class in your local area where you can meet other parents and make new friends. There are classes available online or even one to one classes if you're not ready to share your concerns with a group.

CANparent have come up with an amusing video to highlight some of the myths we face as parents - some are quite hilarious, but we've all heard them!

CANparent is a brilliant campaign set up to help parents just like yourselves and they need our support to raise awareness of the fantastic services they offer.

If you could pop on over and give their Facebook page a like that would be amazing. You can find out tips, find out about classes in your area and share your own stories - something I think we could all use!

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