Parenthood is an amazing experience filled with once in a lifetime experiences that will contain many ups and downs. The obstacles and challenges that a parent will experience will not only challenge yourself, your relationship with your partner, and your family members, but will leave an everlasting impression on your child. When planning or not planning for children the last thing that you may think about is “society” and how the outside world will affect the way you parent or the way you are looked upon as a parent.
Having children in your college years is not something that many people plan. It will come with many challenges, the experience of raising a child at such a young age with no experience as you are still trying to figure life out can be a fast-forwarding event to adulthood. Some people may turn to family for support and advice while others look towards professional services or self help books. The overall objection and outcome is that your child is raised to be a well-rounded educated individual ready for the real world, as they eventually become adults themselves.
As a parent there are mild stones that you look forward to for your children, such as the first day of kindergarten, their first school play or sports event, and eventually college. With all the planning that you have done for your child, no one has prepared you for what is to come for yourself. Those awkward moments of being the “young parent” amongst the crowd of the parents with more age, more experience, a un-divorced family, or a family financially better off then yourself.
Overcoming the challenges of being a young parent and having a difference of age with the other parents causes stress not only on the child but the parents as well. Walking into the child’s classroom for the first time can leave your heart racing. Meeting the other parents and teachers is an over whelming experience yet alone having to deal with the odd stares and glances or the overbearing questioning that you may undergo as questions arise if you are actually the parent.
As a parent you look forward to becoming involved in your children’s school and sports activities. While being involved in the schools PTA program is an excellent way to give back, it also can keep you informed and sounds like an exciting opportunity until you walk into your first meeting and can feel like the odd parent out. As your children begin to grow and find different interests you will find yourself involved in full-blown sports or dance mode, the avenues that they will take you on are endless. The excitement will intrigue you to maybe coach a team or organize a fundraising event. The challenge is how to deal with the parents that may feel that your age can affect the lack of experience that you hold to take the team to the play offs or hold a financially successful fundraiser.
While your still trying to figure out how to keep your child safe, provide them the best education, and make sure that they have the tools to become successful adults. You may find yourself trying to find the answers of overcoming being the young parent in the room. Some changes in the way you approach the situation will help you overcome the challenges that can seem too little for anyone to take notice, but it will keep you feeling confident and in control on how the other parents will look at you and treat you.
Tips To Survive Being The Young Parent In The Room
1. Introduce yourself and your child to the other parents and children, make the first step.
2. Use your talents to bring value to the organization, regardless if it’s a sports event or the PTA make sure to volunteer in an area of your expertise that will allow them to see the value you bring.
3. Voice your position, opinions, and concerns.
4. Remain consistent and active by attending as many scheduled meeting and events.
While changing the way we approach being the young parent in the room may not be the easy fix we can only hope that society one day can embrace parents in every shape, race, age, and religious background.