Parents, especially first-timers, can benefit from your perspective. You can help them step back and see that things aren't so bad.
If they want to vent, let them. Providing a sympathetic ear when kids -- even grown kids -- want to complain is one of a parent's important roles.
But if they're really stressed, help them out. A new mom may feel that she'll never again have a good night's sleep. A dad whose toddler skinned his or her knee while in his care may be hard on himself. Parents of a 2-year-old who says nothing but "No!"may think they've got a serious behavior problem on their hands. When their previously loving little girl becomes a sullen back-talker in middle school, mom and dad might despair.
You've been through all these phases. Obviously, you survived, and so did your child. Reassure your child that phases pass and accidents happen. Tell funny stories about things that happened to you as a parent. You might remind your child, with gentle humor, that he or she acted a lot like that stubborn toddler or uncommunicative tween -- and look how that turned out!
But sometimes, problems may be serious. Read on to learn more.