Kids don’t come with instruction booklets. It’s not uncommon for parents to feel alone and at a loss as to what to do when children come into their lives, as well as when their kids reach new developmental stages. Although this is true for all parents, parents of children with special needs can feel even more isolated. But no one needs to go through the ups and downs, challenges and joys of parenting alone. There are parent support groups throughout the country that meet both in-person and online, where parents can share and offer support to each other.
Here is more information about what they offer parents:
1. They have answers to your questions. Your pediatrician can offer you a lot when you attend appointments. But there is nothing like hearing from another parent who has walked your path when you are struggling with a picky eater, or an inconsistent sleeper. By talking with other parents, you may hear ways of coping with challenges that you never thought of before. If you have a child with a disability or mental health condition like Autism or OCD, you can find groups that provide insights that are particularly fitted to your family’s situation. And with the internet, they are only a few clicks away, even if you live in a remote area.
2. You’ll know you are not alone. It’s one of those days. You come home from work, and there’s a message from your child’s teacher that they have misbehaved in school, the dog needs to be walked, and your teen is ready for a fight about taking the car Saturday night. Parent support groups help you make connections with other parents who understand how you feel, can lend an understanding ear, or perhaps even offer helpful advice.
3. They are great places to find resources. When you connect with parents through a parent support group, you’ll find yourself “in-the-know” about your community’s best childcare options, discount toy retailers, the best children’s books, sources of information for special-needs children and more.