The Alternatives to Abortion Program offers services to help women carry their unborn child to term instead of having an abortion. This program also helps support women after making this choice by finding resources to help with caring for a child or by helping women learn more about adoption, if they choose.

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What Skills Do All Parents Need to Have?

Parenting can be a challenge, especially if you’re pregnant and weighing options. If you choose to parent your child, you likely have many questions.

Certain skills are needed to be a parent. It’s true that children need a safe, stable home environment, education, medical care, food, clothing, and other necessities. But many emotional tools they develop come as a result of your parenting.

Continue reading to learn more about the essential skills all parents must have.

1. Love

First and foremost, your child must know they are loved. Children are wise, and they develop attachments to their caregivers from infancy. With time, your newborn will view you as a source of love and compassion. 

Feeling safe and protected is something every child deserves. And for many parents, the feeling of loving their child can begin during pregnancy or right after birth. If you find yourself struggling to connect emotionally with your child, know that you deserve support. 

Speak with a licensed mental health professional to determine whether conditions like postpartum depression are at play. Healing is possible, and you can equip yourself to form a healthy relationship with your child.

2. Patience

Parenting can be a draining journey. From navigating the toddler years to dealing with an unexpected diagnosis, parenthood can test your patience.

Remind yourself that feeling frustrated or overwhelmed isn’t a character flaw. You’re human, and those emotions are common. But your reaction is critical. 

Never take your frustrations out on your child. If you feel overwhelmed, take time to yourself when it is safe. Lean on others for support, and remember that navigating new emotions can be just as frustrating for a young child. You both deserve grace.

3. Maturity 

Unfortunately, many adults have had negative childhood experiences. They may remember immature behavior from one or both parents. 

When you become a parent, growing in maturity is critical. A parent is an authority figure and a loving presence to your child. They need to see you model appropriate adult behavior. Stepping into this new role is a significant life change, and taking advantage of resources like parenting classes will help you succeed.

4. Responsibility 

There’s no one “rule book” for parenting, and you may face unexpected twists and turns during this journey. It’s vital to recognize that as a parent, you owe your child the best life possible.

Taking responsibility for your actions and your child’s needs is crucial. If your child becomes sick or injured, acting swiftly and seeking medical care is a responsible decision. And teaching your child to respect others’ boundaries is another hallmark of good parenting. Read our post on The Top 3 Most Important Parenting Skills.

5. Emotional Coping Skills

Emotional coping skills can look like many things. For example, modeling emotional regulation skills is a healthy way to show your child how to manage stress. Exercising self-care as the parent (i.e., relaxing after a long work day or participating in a favorite hobby) teaches your child how to unwind.

As a parent, it is your job to demonstrate suitable behavior. From problem-solving to talking through difficult emotions, you’ll help your child prepare for adulthood. They’ll model skills they’ll need in the workforce, in relationships, and if they become parents themselves. Read our post on Prioritizing Mental Health During Pregnancy.

Alternatives to Abortion Program

If you are a United States resident who lives in Missouri, is pregnant, wants to carry your child to term, and makes less than 185% of the federal poverty level, help is available.

Missouri’s Alternatives to Abortion Program can connect you with providers who offer parenting skills classes, child care, and more. 

Contact us today to learn how to get started. Read about our educational services for pregnant women. Also, read our post on : “How Does the Adoption Assistance Process Work, and What Are the Eligibility Requirements? “.

Meet Our Network of Providers

Alliance for Life
Faith Maternity Care
Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri
Laclede County Pregnancy Support Center
Nurses for Newborns
Mothers Refuge
Haven of Grace
Lutheran Family and Children Services of Missouri
Bethany Christian Services of Missouri

Do You Have Questions?

If you have questions about the Alternatives to Abortion program, please email


Alternatives to Abortion Program
3705 Missouri Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65109

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