Parenting can be one of the most rewarding roles on the planet. Watching a child grow and thrive is wonderfully gratifying. However, when a child is experiencing challenges on that growth journey, parenting can also be terribly frightening and lonely. And that’s why parents helping parents can be a key element for recovery.
There is strong research1 to suggest that parent-led support groups can provide parents with better parenting skills and improved confidence in their parenting abilities. Not only that, peer support groups can lead to a sense of belonging and social connection.
When children are struggling with mental health issues, parents can often feel overwhelmed and unsure about how to access the right resources for support. They also feel as though they are certain to be judged by others, and are hesitant to reach out.
And that’s why parents helping parents can make all the difference. There are so many ways in which parent-led support groups can help parents whose children are struggling. Let’s examine three.
Parent-led Support Groups are Skill-Builders
In a community where people are sharing openly about their challenges, parents can acquire a variety of strategies to manage difficult situations with their teens. Parents may talk about what works for them, and other parents can then try these in their own homes.
When trust is built in a support meeting, parents can receive helpful feedback about how they are managing a situation without feeling attacked or judged.
Parent-led Support Groups End Isolation
Parents tend to feel that their children’s struggles are a result of their own parenting and hesitate to share their situation for fear of judgment. Knowing that they are not alone can come as such a relief to parents whose children are struggling. Connecting with someone who has already experienced and survived a similar challenge helps them feel understood.
Parent Support Groups Provide Education and Information
One of the greatest challenges for parents whose children are experiencing mental health or substance use issues is accessing the right support and correct information. Parents in a support group are often connected to community health resources and other materials that provide information and assistance.
Not only that, parents who are leading support groups come with a wealth of information as a result of living through a similar family experience.
Other Parents LIke Me is an online support community for parents of teens struggling with mental health issues. We believe that parents helping parents is a model that makes a difference in the lives of families all over the world.
Join us now for a free trial. Discover a safe, supportive community of caring and know that you are never alone.
1 Law M, King S, Stewart D, King G. The perceived effects of parent-led support groups for parents of children with disabilities. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2001;21(2-3):29-48. PMID: 12029852.