After six weeks of physical distancing, many of us are feeling the effects of social isolation. This is especially true for parents who were already experiencing postpartum anxiety and depression brought on by isolation, lack of support from family or friends, as well as the stress of caring for a baby.
For 40 years, Parenting Now! has used an in-person group model to help bring families with similar-aged children together to share their experiences, make connections with other parents and to build that support network that all parents so desperately need.
But, today and for the foreseeable future, we need to do things differently—and we are. Parenting Now! is still here to support parents.
Our recently launched One-2-One Program is designed to help parents stay supported and connected as we navigate life through this pandemic. One-2-One is giving parents free support and education from parenting educators through email, phone, or text services.
While many facets of our lives look different than they did just mere weeks ago, one thing has not changed—the stress of parenting. Many parents might feel compelled to just wait it out, to just grin and bear it. We’re all doing the best we can right now, but stress is cumulative, and many of us are really feeling it.
And, with the One-2-One program in place, there is no reason any parent should go unsupported, especially during such challenging times. Support from Parenting Now! Is still here for parents. Whether by phone, text or email, free support is available now.
The power of support
Having a support system—whether it’s talking with family, friends or parenting educators—is helpful in so many ways:
It helps normalize a parent’s experience. In conversations with our families, a common thing we hear is “I thought I was the only one who felt that way,” or “I thought my baby was the only one who did that.”
Being able to share parenting experiences or feelings with an understanding person, can help parents feel connected and decrease the feeling of isolation that can come with raising children. Many of us are feeling especially isolated right now as we negotiate this new normal.
Talking with parenting educators also helps parents understand the many facets of child development, which can help them have more realistic expectations for child rearing. Many times after talking with a parenting educator, parents are relieved to find out that what their child is doing is perfectly natural for their stage of development. When parents understand what their child is learning at their developmental stage, they can better support the learning by finding acceptable ways for their child to “practice.”
Social connection is a basic human need. Having an emotionally safe space and nurturing environment for parents to share their concerns and triumphs, is so important for their wellbeing. It can help parents feel less burned out and exhausted by the demands of parenting. When a parent’s cup is full, so to speak, they are better able to handle stressful situations with patience and compassion toward their children and themselves.
The One-2-One Program is a free, safe, confidential place to receive support and to have parenting questions answered. To get started with this personalized parenting support, call Parenting Now! Enrollment at 541.434-4343.
This article appeared in the April 27, 2020 edition of The Register-Guard.