The Benefits of Parenting Support
As soon as a woman learns she is pregnant, she is bombarded with information, help and support. Through books, online articles and antenatal classes, all aspects of pregnancy and labour are covered. It is taken for granted that the expectant mother will accept all this advice. Not going to classes and seeking support from the experts would be frowned upon.
Why then, once the baby has arrived and the family is growing, is there such a stigma attached to asking for parenting support? Classes and help are advertised for children with problems with behaviour or those falling behind what is expected of them in terms of speech and physical development. Many parents are left to muddle through and although they do a fine job as their child’s first teacher, with more support the whole family could benefit greatly.
Why Ask for Help?
The early years are so important and many children would benefit from their parents being guided on how to encourage learning through play and how to assist with developing their child’s fine motor or early maths skills. Parents are expected to be the experts rather than seek advice from them and are often judged if they seek parenting support. Thankfully this is changing and for many, just a few tweaks to what they already do at home can have a massive impact on preparing their child for the future.
Research into Child Development
There is currently some wonderful research being done into child development. It is great to see leading authorities such as making this accessible to parents in a way that is non-judgemental and serves to encourage them. These talks are designed to allow parents to and not only understand a topic better, but to ask questions and contribute to the debate themselves.
Taking the time to focus on what support is needed for your own family and making the effort to access that support is a great way to make a difference to your child’s life. Utilising the parenting support that is available to you can help you feel more confident in your parenting style. Adapting what you currently do at home, or starting afresh with new ideas and goals means less worry and is worth the investment. Get together with friends and as a group for a shared enjoyable and empowering experience.
What has been your experience with parenting support groups? Please let us know in the comments, or join the conversation on Facebook.
This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer