Parents Need Support Too!
Parenting is a fun, exciting, rewarding, busy, and stressful job! All parents need a support system to help them raise healthy, happy children. Sometimes parents may need to talk to someone who knows what they are going through or to share the joys and challenges of parenting. Other times parents may need ideas on what to do or help with something specific in their lives. The Children’s Trust encourages all parents to seek support, no matter how old their children are.
Tips for Meeting Other Parents
- Introduce yourself to other parents at your child's school or after-school activities, at the library, in your neighborhood, or at your work. Parents share a natural connection through shared experiences, and it can be easy to spark a conversation with other parents.
- Volunteer in your child's classroom (even just by chaperoning a field trip), at the library or other community organization, by coaching your child's sports team, or by leading a youth group at your church or place of worship.
- Organize a social gathering for your neighborhood. Keep it simple. Meeting for coffee is a great way for parents to connect without spending a lot of money.
- Ask neighbors or parents of your child's friends for help, and reciprocate with giving rides and watching each other’s children.
Tips for Finding a Parent Group
- Read bulletin boards at your child’s daycare, after-school program, or extracurricular activities to find parent groups in your area.
- Consider joining an online parenting group.
- Check places such as hospitals, health centers, childbirth education organizations, places of worship, public libraries, college or university education departments, parenting newspapers or magazines, and community organizations (e.g., YMCA, YWCA, United Way).
- If an organization doesn't have a group that fits your needs, ask to be referred to other organizations.
- If you can't find a group that suits you, consider starting your own.
Tips for Starting a Support Group
There are plenty of other parents who need support. The best way to find them is to start locally. Post signs in your child’s school, in a religious organization, or at the public library. Even if you can only find one other interested parent, have a meeting to talk about what each of you needs and hopes to get out of the group. Define the group’s goals; decide on a meeting place, time, and frequency; and talk about whether you want to set a size limit or other criteria for joining (e.g., children’s ages, just dads/moms, etc.).
Other Resources for Parent Support
Parents Helping Parents: This group provides help with parenting skills and family relationships through parent support groups jointly facilitated by parents and specially trained volunteers from professional health and human services.
Join a parenting meet-up: Find or create a group of like-minded parents in your community or region.
Parental Stress Hotline: (800) 632-8188—24 hours, 7 days a week. This hotline offers support and referrals for parents with children of any age as well as for other family members, caregivers, friends, and relatives.