The Importance of a Support System

Posted on April 16 2015

In days past, families grew up surrounded by not only their immediate relatives, but extended family as well. Even if everyone didn't live in the same house, they generally lived on the same land and worked together to grow their food, carry out seasonal tasks, and raise their children. They were connected to their community, and everyone helped out. These days, most of us grow our families alone, without the large support systems that folks once had. Many parents are working outside of the home while others are living off of the land, and almost all of us are trying to reach a common goal of being self-sufficient. Now, being self-sufficient is truly a wonderful thing to be, but it is often a misunderstood term in that people assume that self-sufficiency equals doing everything by yourself with no help from outside sources. Let's be honest here and admit that nobody knows all things, and nobody can provide all things to everyone, so cultivating a support system to help out with some of those things can bring immense relief, as well as the opportunity to learn new things! Think about the people who you trust the most. Are they available to come and help? Whether it's once a week or once a month, having someone you know and trust to come and be with your children, assist with a home project, or teach you and/or your children a new skill is invaluable. This does not have to mean just family, either. If you know people in your community who are apt at a certain skill, they may be able to help, or point you towards someone who can assist. What sorts of programs or events are available in your community? Are there 4-H programs or parent/child classes to participate in? Does your local preschool cooperative offer afternoon or summer programs? Look into community happenings for opportunities to expand your child's (and your own) experiences, interactions with others, and interests. Putting your child into an afternoon preschool program can give him/her the chance to play with other children, learn new skills, and adapt to socializing outside of the home. Your local library may offer a children's reading hour and art time once a week, or you may even find some "Mommy/Daddy & Me" classes locally to get out of the house and do something fun! If you need help financially, have limited or no transportation, or aren't sure where to turn for specific resources, you may qualify for government programs that can help you with your and your child's needs. Contact your local DHHS office or go to http://www.211.org/ to find local resources that will get you ahead when you need it the most. Resources are everywhere even if sometimes we don't  realize it. People want to help! All we have to do is ask. :)


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