The Parent Café
Reducing Parental Stress
Parenting is one of the hardest and most important jobs anyone can do. Every stage along the way brings more questions and difficult choices. Yet honest conversations about the challenges of parenting are rare—especially when a parent or child is struggling. That’s where parenting support groups come in.
Research shows that support groups provide healthy parenting skills, an increased sense of empowerment, and a feeling of belonging. Moreover, parenting support groups can be particularly helpful for parents of teens who are coping with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues.
Here are five reasons why parenting support groups make a powerful positive difference.
1. Parenting Support Groups Remind Parents That They Are Not Alone
They can talk to others who understand the challenges, emotions, and practicalities that they’re dealing with every day. They can process and discuss life, in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment.
Parents sometimes believe that they’re “bad parents” if their child is struggling. As a result, their shame and embarrassment can prevent them from talking to other parents about their experience. Parents may feel like they’re the only ones having a hard time. Thus, they believe that other parents have “perfect” relationships with their kids and know just what to do.
Parenting support groups are a reminder that there are no “perfect” parents or “perfect” kids. All parents doubt themselves sometimes.
2. Parenting Support Groups Are a Form of Self-Care
Parenting isn’t easy. As a result, parent burnout is common.
In past studies it was found that one out of every five parents is suffering from burnout. Consequently, parents who are burnt out have less energy, they have less patience and perspective.
Parents who find reliable, positive self-care approaches are better able to care for their children, this leads parents to then parent with creativity and resilience. Parenting support groups are a form of self-care that promotes both parents’ and kids’ mental health.
3. A Way to Access Resources and Build a Support Network
Another advantage of parenting support groups is the access they provide to information and resources. Parents can share services, books, websites, and other parenting support resources that they found helpful.
4. Parenting Support Groups Help Parents Build Skills
A support group for parents is a great place to get positive parenting tips. That’s because parents talk about the coping skills that work for them. They share their tools for creating healthy communication with their children. And what works for one parent sometimes works for another parent as well. Plus, parents also learn what didn’t work well for others, avoiding certain pitfalls.
Parenting support groups provide a space and time for parents to focus on what’s happening with their child. And they can look at how the entire family is affected. This space for reflection can be hard to find during daily life. That’s because parents are in the midst of coping with the moment-to-moment challenges that arise.
5. A Place to Find Hope
Often parents come to a parenting support group for the first time in the midst of a crisis. And they may find it hard to imagine that things will ever be set right again. They may be terrified about their child’s mental health and their future.
Spending time with other parents can be an enormous relief and sharing stories can provide a sense of hope and relief.
It’s easier to find comfort in sharing our stories and experiences with others who understand what we’re going through.
Are you interested in becoming part of a parent support group?
We have one right here at Chillicothe City Schools!
The Parent Café is the name of our group, it is ran by our District Social Worker, Leslie Hamman, MSW, LSW. For more information, email or call Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org 740-775-4250 ext. 16172.
Helping parents gain access to valuable information about their child’s development both socially and emotionally. Providing parents with strategies to address needs of their child in these areas.
Providing parents with resources in the community to help assist the needs of their child and reduce overall family stress.
Emotional Support and Self-Care
Providing parents with an opportunity to make connections with other parents and develop strong social support networks. Teaching positive coping to manage stress.