Do you feel alone and frustrated?

Raising a young family is hard work. The day-to-day care required to keep your children fed and healthy takes time and energy.

When days are busy and demanding, it's possible to lose track of what you have done. This is common, especially with babies and small children, and can lead to a feeling of isolation.

Continual isolation can be harmful to the emotional and physical health of parents and children alike. Isolation can lead to depression, resentment, loneliness, substance abuse, anxiety, verbal abuse, and physical abuse. It also can limit the experiences that foster the healthy development of mind and body.

Children need to interact with other children and venture into the community to develop social and physical skills.

Parents need to talk with other parents to learn from one another about raising children.

There are parent groups and community family centers that offer families opportunities to break out of isolation and share the ups and downs of parenting.

You are not alone. Parenting can be challenging and frustrating, but talking with other parents can help lift the fears and concerns that all parents experience at one time or another.

Family Focus is a series of positive discipline parenting tips and information sheets developed by specialists at Children's Hospitals and Clinics, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. For a complete list of topics, visit our Web page: