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Breaking the Cycle with Positive Parenting

Watch Time: 2:40 Minutes

Our childhoods shape us as children and adults. We often raise our kids as our parents raised us. But for those with challenging or bad childhoods, the cycle is not always easy to break. Paige shares how she broke the cycle of growing up in a dysfunctional home and how asking for help has helped her raise her two daughters in a positive and encouraging home.

How to Use Positive Parenting with Your Kids

Paige’s Story

My name is Paige Swanton. I'm 22 years old. I am a mom—a single mom—of two girls. When I was a kid my dad was an alcoholic. Once my parents split up my dad got custody of us, and I felt like I had to mature a lot quicker than a lot of kids do. Despite my childhood, I have always wanted to be a mom.

photo of Paige
Paige watches her daughters play in the park.

Fathers Matter

Joey’s super involved. We just recently split up. My biggest fear was to relive my childhood and to go through that nasty custody battle. We both vowed that we were not going to do that. We were going to allow our children to have a positive childhood where they're allowed to thrive. He's really good with them.

Good to Know

Children with involved fathers have better health, educational, and emotional outcomes than kids who don’t.

photo of Paige, Joey, and their daughters
Paige and Joey with their daughters in the park

Is It Normal to Get Frustrated?

When I had my first daughter, I found myself getting really frustrated with her. I didn't have any resources. I was solely doing this off my experience with my parents. I just knew that I didn't want to yell. I didn't want to be absent. I didn't want to be aggressive. And I didn't want to be an alcoholic.

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Asking for help has probably been the best thing that I ever did. I would reach out to the mom groups on Facebook for the support that I needed. There's an Austin first-time moms’ group. You can post pretty much anything in there asking for advice and you'll get, like, so many moms that'll give you advice, and really just hear you.

Get help

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I also used the WIC program for women, infants, and children. It essentially provides breastfeeding resources. They do iron checks. They do weight checks. They do nutrition counseling. All of it's completely free. For a young single mom that was a really big resource for me.

How Do You Know Your Child Is Developing Normally?

The idea of tracking their development came mostly from the pediatrician. They have well- checks at those doctor’s visits. They have a checklist of where they should be. Wonder Weeks is an app and it actually tells you where they're at developmentally in that certain stage.

Good to Know

Good nutrition will help support your child's brain growth even before he or she is born.

I've used Any Baby Can. That's been one of the really big resources. My counselor provides me with activities or practice things that I can do with them based on their age group and that's helped me be able to understand where they're at and why they're doing what they're doing.

photo of Paige holding one of her daughters
Paige and her daughter after playing in the pool

I do get overwhelmed from time to time. I've got a part time job. I'm also in the nursing program at Austin Community College. I've got a lot on my plate, but I feel like I am at a place in life where I'm able to enjoy the little things.

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