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How to Find a Parent Support System

 

A parent support system can assist parents who are dealing with stress and feeling overwhelmed. Supportive individuals and groups promote a strong sense of family, community and social networking. It is beneficial to use a parent support system when you need advice and encouragement during stressful times. Being a part of a parent support system will allow you to get help, share strategies and even make new friends.

Look to Your Family and Friends

Your first avenue of support may be from your spouse or family. However, even this type of support may not always be readily available. You should consider alternatives for when this comfortable and familiar system is not able to help you. If you are a single parent, if you do not have family available or if you have strained family relationships, you may want to look to a friend, coworker or an outside organization for support.

It is important to realize that support can be found in many shapes and sizes; it can take the form of a listening ear, helping hands or words of wisdom. The right support will help calm and steady you and help point you in the right direction. A strong support system should help you to focus on your strengths, rather than focusing primarily on griping or negativity.

Join Community Groups

Many of your friends and coworkers may also be parents. Identify which ones enjoy discussing their children, and discover if they want develop a support system. The easiest way to find like-minded individuals is to join a community group of interest to you.

As you meet community group members, you will need to develop trust and knowledge about the other individuals. If you plan to entrust your child with any of these members, you will need to know about their values (e.g. safety issues, talking inappropriately in front of children and so forth).

Network with Other WAHMS

WAHM groups are sure to have members who are similar because their actions (i.e. work at home to raise children) do speak louder than words. You can find local WAHM groups by searching on line, or you may become part of an online support group.

Join Forums Online

There are many parent support systems available online. These groups are convenient and are available to you 24/7.  They offer many perks like social networking and blogging.

If you prefer support from other parents in your area you can find local groups by contacting daycare centers, churches, community centers or your local newspaper.

Parent support systems are not a one size fits all. You may want to look for a group that describes your specific situation. For example, if you have a child with disabilities, you may want to join a parent support system that has members who have similar experiences.

A parent support system can offer you guidance on a variety of parenting issues. Your role is to participate, actively listen and to keep communication open. If you have carefully developed your new network of friends, (whether online or in person) you will most likely find others who want to encourage you every step of the way. This is the purpose of a parent support system; to help you succeed and develop a healthy family.

Learn from parents who have already been there and share your experiences with new members. Remember to have fun. This is an exciting time in your life, and you will want to enjoy every moment.

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