Published 11:19 am Friday, October 30, 2015

Most folks quickly recognize the importance of training and continuing education when it comes to their careers. Most employees who have been successful for 18 years or more also have sought to improve and expand their knowledge about their chosen field during that time.

When technology changes, it requires us to learn new ways of doing our jobs, new skills and new procedures. When a company gets new ownership or new management, successful employees look for opportunities to learn more about the new culture and how they can operate successfully within it.

Consider how much more important, then, it is for parents to be well equipped for the challenges they face in the challenging, lifelong career they embark upon when they have their children.

Nobody is born knowing how to be a parent, and for most of us, it’s impossible to objectively consider the efficacy of our own parents’ parenting skills in order to determine whether to mimic them with our own children.

Much as pregnant couples might read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” smart parents will recognize that billions of other parents have experienced the challenges of raising children before them, and they’ll seek out the collective wisdom of those who’ve done it well.

Similarly, even parents who have mastered the art of raising toddlers will recognize new challenges when those toddlers go off to elementary school. And every person who has ever lived with a teen in the house will have noted that those creatures call for a special kind of treatment that would have been inconceivable for grade-schoolers.

Recognizing the need for good advice, The Tidewater News encourages its readers to check out the book “Active Parenting” by Dr. Michael Popkin.

The book discusses how to use parenting skills to instill positive qualities in children, such as discipline, respect, cooperation, courage, self-esteem and more. One important factor in doing this is by building a community of good role models around children, he says.

Through it, parents can find more joy in their relationships with their children and find themselves less frustrated, he added. And those are the kinds of goals nearly everyone has for their jobs.