Parenting is the most rewarding yet difficult job there is. Whether you are a parent, stepparent, or foster parent, you are absolutely central to the health and success of your child; and sometimes this role can feel overwhelming because no parent has all the answers. The good news is, there are in-person and online parental support groups available where you can get tips, feedback and emotional support from other parents sharing the journey.
10 Parental Support Groups
Support groups play an important role in helping parents enhance skills and get emotional support navigating the challenges of parenting. Research has also shown that parent support groups increase parents' sense of confidence and competence in raising their children.
Following is a list of free, nationwide parental support groups, including virtual support groups.
Circle of Parents
The Circle of Parents groups are available to all types of parents. The groups are always confidential and anonymous. They are also non-judgmental and champion positive, non-abusive, parenting.
Parent to Parent
The Parent to Parent program matches you up with a support parent in your area. This is particularly helpful if you have recently moved. A coordinator gathers your information in order to make a personalized match. Go to their website to find a Parent to Parent location near you; and call that phone number to start the process.
These groups are available in various settings near you, such as community centers, family resource centers, churches, schools, shelters, mental health centers, military installations, and prisons. Some groups are also available as Spanish-speaking only.
Virtual Parenting Group for Parents Working With Department of Children and Family Services
This virtual support group is for parents who are working toward reunification with their children. Certificates are awarded after you attend for eight weeks.
Virtual Parenting Teenagers Support Group
This virtual group is for parents with children between the ages of 13 and 18. Connect, share frustrations, and get support and feedback from other parents of teenagers.
Lunch and Learn Online Parenting Group
Turn lunchtime into a chance to learn about parenting with this online parenting group. This is a great option for busy parents who may only have their lunch break available to log on and get the help they need.
Online Support Group for Parents With Teens With Special Needs
If you have a teenager with special needs, this is a great opportunity to address their specific concerns. Join this online group for help with behavioral, emotional, learning, physical or medical needs your child is experiencing.
Single Parents Support Group
Being a single parent poses unique challenges that can be very overwhelming. Get support from other single parents who understand what you're going through at this online support group.
Meetup Monday Parenting Connection
End your manic Monday on a positive note by connecting online with other parents. This offers an ideal way to start the week on a fresh, inspired note.
Informal Social Parenting Group
Lounge in your pajamas while virtually interacting with other parents and sharing tips and laughs. Don't let kids crying in the background or making faces in the camera stop you, as they are welcome too.
The National Foster Parent Association gives foster parents opportunities for networking, education and support. The National Parent Helpline is a hotline open from Monday to Friday, where you can speak with a trained advocate who can provide support and help you problem-solve.
Be the Best Parent You Can Be
Seeking help is a sign of strength and wisdom, for it means you know what you don't know, and that you believe you can learn from others. Parenting is not always intuitive, so utilizing the right support group gets you closer to the answers and increases your confidence. Feeling confident in your parenting abilities leads to the healthy social and emotional development of your kids.