What it Really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families Series- Day 28

Consciously Parenting: What it Really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families
Book 1 of the Consciously Parenting series

Principle 8: No man is an island. We need to create communities of support for ourselves and for our children. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our children.

We simply cannot do everything that is on our list of things to do and care for the children in the way they need to be cared for. It isn’t that any one person is incapable, but rather that the job is too important to be left to just one person.

The ideal ratio for children under six years old is at least four emotionally mature adult caregivers to one child.

Children with trauma histories and disrupted beginnings often have an emotional age that is less than six years old, and they have the same requirements, even if they are chronologically fourteen.

Once they are more than a few months old, our children need relationships with multiple people who respect them and value them. These people can be mentors, teachers, neighbors, relatives, or our friends.

The important thing is to have these other people in your children’s life and to create a larger social network for your family.

When we are in relationship with other healthy individuals, we are healthy. When we are isolated and trying to do everything ourselves, we are almost certainly going to struggle.

From the book Consciously Parenting: What it Really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families

In 2016, my husband, youngest son, and I all went to Ecuador into the Amazon. It was such a beautiful experience to be in the jungle with families in a village as they went about their lives. One of the most impactful moments was when children of all ages were playing in the river with the wooden boats, learning how to navigate the currents and steer the boats. At first, it looked like the older children were watching the younger ones, and to some extent they were. But a closer look revealed mothers behind the bushes watching to make sure the children were safe. It was unexpected and made me smile.

At the same time, I felt sad that I hadn’t had a community of support like that when my children were small. As they had grown, I had cultivated different communities of support for myself and for them, and that made all the difference. Even as I had more layers of support, I always still had this isolated feeling of being in my own house by myself with my kids most of the time.

So many parents isolate themselves, especially if they are struggling, fearing that others won’t understand what’s happening and what they need. And that’s heartbreaking for me to hear. One of the ways I support families is in helping to increase their layers of support in their own communities, so that they’re not alone. It’s also why I started my membership community, so that parents could connect with others who were navigating similar circumstances and challenges. And even if the challenges weren’t the same, the ability to just listen to one another is highly valued and there is space for each person to have their own story and experiences. We all need those spaces.

What is your community looking like right now? How supported are you feeling? Is there something you’ve been thinking about doing that would help you to have just one more layer of support in your life right now for yourself or your family? Take a step in the direction of more support and community and see how it feels to you.

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  • Rebecca Thompson Hitt

    Rebecca is the founder of The Consciously Parenting Project, LLC, and author of 3 books (Consciously Parenting: What it really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families, Creating Connection: Essential Tools for Growing Families through Conception, Birth and Beyond, and Nurturing Connection: What Parents Need to Know about Emotional Expression and Bonding), numerous classes and recordings, and the former co-host of a radio show, True North Parents.

Rebecca Thompson Hitt

Rebecca is the founder of The Consciously Parenting Project, LLC, and author of 3 books (Consciously Parenting: What it really Takes to Raise Emotionally Healthy Families, Creating Connection: Essential Tools for Growing Families through Conception, Birth and Beyond, and Nurturing Connection: What Parents Need to Know about Emotional Expression and Bonding), numerous classes and recordings, and the former co-host of a radio show, True North Parents.

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