A little help for parents

Parenting, unlike other promotions in life, does not require any experience or credentials. Whether we become a caregiver on purpose or through another life circumstance, most new caregivers find themselves in a situation during which we’ve said to ourselves (or others), “I have literally no idea what I’m doing.” The truth is most of us don’t. And, whether we have/had “good” parents, or we have people around us modeling practices we admire, we can usually use some extra help and training.

Toni DeGennaro is a Certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator in northern Colorado www.parentingfortcollins.com/ and specializes in personal coaching for parents who need to sharpen their skills, especially when it comes to discipline. She says, “I don’t tell parents life is perfect.  We are all still human!” But, she says, “while we will always have challenges, positive parenting can make those challenges quieter, shorter, and much less stressful.”

Baby care

Oftentimes, parents and new caregivers are too worried to even admit they just generally don’t know about babies and children. When do they sleep and how much? When do the eat… and how much? The Youth Clinic in northern Colorado Offers several classes on these topics to support parents and caregivers who want to give the best care to their children and want to learn more about what that entails.

Called, Baby Steps, this resource offers support through a child’s first year of life. This weekly group allows parents to connect informally with other parents and share their experiences.  A pediatric nurse is available to answer questions and provide information on important topics such as development and play, family life balance, babyproofing and safety, feeding, sleep, and common infant illness. www.youthclinic.com/ages-stages/newborns-up-to-24-months/#classes

Car seats

Sure, learning how to relate to your child and how to create the type of communication at home that best suits us are broad strokes, sometimes we worry more about the smaller, logistical tasks. Like, for example, installing a car seat. Safe Kids of Larimer County www.sklarimer.org/car-seat-resources/ exists to help prevent accidental injury to children and offers training and resources about bicycle safety, car seats, teen driving, and more. They also offer virtual learning and in-person classes.

The topics about which Safe Kids educates are important for a few key reasons: first, safety clearly is a priority. Second, laws and regulations are always changing when it comes to seat belts, car seats, and helmet use. Even a family with several children can find themselves missing a new update regarding how many pounds a child needs to weigh and/or how old that child should be before moving them to a front-facing car seat.

As a state, Colorado is committed to children riding in seats that are the right size, position, and are installed safely. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has a website dedicated entirely to this topic ( https://www.codot.gov/safety/carseats ) titled Car Seats Colorado. Car Seats Colorado’s mission is to provide an environment in Colorado where every child is properly secured in an approved and appropriate restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle.