Imperfect Parent Club

Worried you’re not the perfect parent? Join the club.

 

Parenting is hard. And perfection is impossible.

 

 

Luckily, you’ve found the IMPERFECT PARENT CLUB – a helpful resource guide for moms and dads of all ages and backgrounds. Because sometimes we just need a point in the right direction. Or support from local resources who can help before the stress gets the best of you.

Parenting is no easy ride. But we’re ALL on that struggle bus together – and there’s something perfect about that.

Help with financial stressors

Concrete Supports

Community Action Organizations can help with rent assistance, section 8 housing, food assistance, and more.

Find your local agency

State Assistance

Apply with the Iowa Department of Human Services for childcare assistance, medicaid, and more.

DHS Application

Build your parenting knowledge

Ages and Stages

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move (crawling, walking, etc.).

CDC's Developmental Milestones

Sesame Street in Communities

Your care and support can make a huge difference in the life of a young child. Sesame Street is here for you with activities and tips for the challenges and joys along the way.

Get Sesame Street Resources

Positive Discipline Strategies

As a parent, one of your jobs to teach your child to behave. It’s a job that takes time and patience. But, it helps to learn the effective and healthy discipline strategies. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on the best ways to help your child learn acceptable behavior as they grow.

Guide to positive discipline strategies

Get Parenting Tips

A free resource for parents with topics from safe sleep to raising teens.

Get Parenting Tips

When is it okay to leave a child unattended?

Every family, child, and situation are different. Staying home alone is a step that can foster responsibility and maturity, which are important in adolescent development. But there is a safety risk if a child is left alone too soon. These considerations may help you determine whether your child is ready.

Can Your Child Stay Home Unsupervised?

Iowa Family Support Network

Iowa Family Support Network is a statewide system that provides information and resources to expecting families or families with young children and professionals that serve them.

Find Parent Support

It's Always Time for the Talk

Research shows that there’s no magic wand to wave when it comes to preventing unplanned adolescent pregnancy. Parents and other trusted adults can have an influential role in helping teens and youth avoid negative, risky behaviors, including an unplanned pregnancy. Conversations regarding sex and healthy relationships need to start early and continue throughout adolescence. If you’re not sure how to start these conversations or what to say, you’re not alone!

Download the Brochure

Find Self-Care Strategies

Six Components of Self Care

Mental/Psychological, Emotional, Physical, Practical, Social and Spiritual – Learn more about the components of self-care and how to cultivate fulfilling strategies to meet them.

Six Components of Self Care

Are you practicing self-care?

The first step in practicing self-care is recognizing that you need it.

5 Signs You Aren't Practicing Self-Care

Practice Mindfulness

The practice of mindfulness has been linked to happiness, health, and psychological well-being, but many of us may not know exactly what it is, let alone how to cultivate it. Take this quiz to learn more about what mindfulness is, how much you currently practice it, and how you can promote more of it in your life.

Mindfulness Quiz

Building Resilience Through Self-Care

When you care for yourself, you can better comfort and protect children—and little ones learn
lifetime lessons by watching their parents take care of themselves and build their own resilience.

Download the Guide

Guided Meditation

Caring for children can leave you feeling parched for self-care. Moms and dads can cultivate self-compassion with guided meditation so they can be kinder and gentler with themselves.

Meditation Self Compassion for Parents

Feel more settled and calm by spending a few minutes focused on your breathing.

5 Minute Mindfulness Meditation

 

Get Connected to Mental Health Supports

Find Providers Near You

Mental health services are available for parents, kids, and families. Find resources and providers in your area for mental health:

Find Help Near You

Support Groups

In a year of change, uncertainty, and upheaval, staying connected and being on top of your mental health is more important than ever. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Iowa and their affiliates offer support groups for those seeking groups focused on mental health.

Resources and Support Groups

Chat, Text, and Phone Support

When you don’t know who to turn to about a problem with alcohol, drugs, gambling, suicidal thoughts or mental health, Your Life Iowa is here for you 24/7. Free, confidential support to connect you to resources meant to help you get your life back on track.

Find Support

Find a Therapist

The directory on PsychologyToday.com lists clinical professionals, psychiatrists, and treatment centers providing mental health services.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us

Find your community

Connections Matter

No matter how large your network of family and friends, one can never have enough social connections. When we are connected to others we have access to information, moral support, and it can even make us feel richer.  That means every time you call a family member, connect with other parents, get to know a neighbor, or participate in a community activity, you are building resilience and capacity to be the best caregiver you can be.

What's Your Connection?

Build your bond with your kids

25 Ways to be a Loving Parent

Giggle together, take a family walk, give hugs – learn some new ways to build bonds with your kids throughout everyday life.

25 Ways to be a Loving Parent

Conversations in the Car

Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates many parents spend significant time in the car with their kids each day. Parents can use this time as an opportunity to build a bond with their children.

Conversations in the Car Vehicle Hangtag

10 Ways to Bond with Kids

Maintaining a positive relationships with your kids is important at all stages. Bonding with your baby looks different than bonding with school aged children and teenagers. Download these tip sheets to spark some new ideas to connect with your kids.

10 Ways to boost your baby’s development

10 Ways to keep school kids sharp

10 Tips for bonding with teens