Mommy Needs a Time Out Too                                          October 2008
In This Issue

Mommy Needs a Time Out Too

Parental Resilience: A Protective Factor



Dear Friends,

Welcome to the second edition of The Parent Portal, a voice for parents including articles.  Parents Helping Parents updates, and educational podcast!  In this issue a mother who attends a PHP support group offers a personal reflection on her strategies for controlling her temper.  You will also find an article about Parental Resilience, one of the Protective Factors that we enhance in the Parental Stress Line and our Parent Support Groups.

Times are difficult and especially in these days of financial crisis, parents need more support then ever.  Please remember that our programs continue to be free and can help parents sort through some of their worries.

Randall Block
Executive Director
Mommy needs a time out too
Reflections from a parent currently attending a Parents Helping Parents support group. She wishes to remain anonymous for now.
When I ask my teenage daughter to do something – and she doesn’t do it – that’s when I lose my temper.  What makes me feel so angry is not knowing whether I should fight it out or just do it for her.  If we fight, that’s just one more moment of conflict.  If I do it for her, I feel she’s taking me for granted.  I don’t know which is worse.  I know everyone loses their temper sometimes, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.
So what do I do to avoid losing my temper?  I just keep focusing on how I feel after I’ve lost my temper.  I feel like I go to a very lonely place, thinking I am the only one that yells at my kids.  I feel like a bad mother, and that really hurts.  Remembering how bad this feels sometimes helps me keep it together.
I find that it also helps when I choose my power struggles, both with my toddler and my teenager.  I decide what is really important to me, and I hone in on that.  I try giving my children a few choices, so they don’t feel like I’m deciding everything.
I think the most important things I’ve learned is that time out isn’t just for kids.  When I feel at the edge of snapping at my children, I take a time out for myself.  As long as I know they are in a safe place, I call a friend, go in the kitchen and make myself a cup of coffee, listen to music, or work out.  Some parents I know call the Parental Stress Line .  When I have taken care of myself for a bit, I’m more ready to take on the challenges of parenting.
At Parents Helping Parents we get asked the following question all the time: How do you prevent child abuse?  This question is often followed by another even harder question: How does PHP measure success?
Researchers in the child welfare field have developed the concept of “protective factors” to go along with the concept of “risk factors”. (See
Protective factors are circumstances that are associated with lowering the frequency of child abuse and neglect.

One protective factor is resiliency, the ability to handle the different challenges that come your way, and bounce back from the hard times.

To read about the data we collect on protective factors, visit our website page on How we prevent child abuse.


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