Finding A Circle of Parenting Support-
Who is in your circle of parenting support? What does that mean? Why is it important? As moms, we try to be it all, know it all and do it all. Why is that? I truly think it is in our genes. After 26 years of being a parent, I realize the importance of having a circle of parenting support. So who is in YOUR circle of support?
Who is in Your circle of Parenting Support?
Circle of parenting support is just what it sounds like: people around you to help support you in parenting. It might be a relative such as a parent, sibling, cousin, aunt or uncle. It could be a friend or someone from church or school. Maybe it is someone from your child’s school like a counselor, teacher or administrator.
For some things it is easier to talk to someone you don’t know very well like a parent coach. Most importantly, it should be someone you are comfortable with in sharing information. Trust is important.
A Circle of Parenting Support – Provides a friendly, supportive environment led by other parents that openly discuss the success and challenges of being a parent and raising children.
How does it work?
Here is an example of a parent that was looking for a circle of support and it backfired using social media. An incident happened at school and so this parent reached out on a Facebook page and asked a question. Well what happened was really sad. She did not get answers to her question, she got parents that needed to vent about other things.
That is not a circle of support. A circle of support is a group of people that you trust and have your best interest in mind. It is a confidential, non-judgemental environment in a safe space, which might be using social media or face to face.
This is also called “It Takes a Village.” We use that phrase a lot when parenting and in education. It is true. We need other people so that we know we are not alone. Our circle of parenting support understands the challenges of parenting and allows us to “blow off steam”. It is connecting with people that have similar interests. It could be a pool of friends or neighbors that you trust and have a connection with in raising children.
Benefits of a Circle of parenting support
Sharing experiences provides parents with more ideas on how to support one another and our children. Each child is different and unique so not one technique will work the same for all children.
More importantly it is a relief to know that you are not alone as a parent. It also helps knowing your circle of support will not judge you or your parenting. They are your circle to support you as a parent.
HOW TO FIND A CIRCLE OF SUPPORT?
Parents that have a circle of support that is readily accessible are more mindful of their actions and have more energy. How to find a circle of support?
- Talk to people that have common interests. You can meet other parents at your child’s school, at church, at the park, or even at the grocery store.
- Talk to people that you have in common with your children. Your children are probably involved in activities. Don’t be shy! Get to know the other parents.
- Join a group on social media that you observe for a while to make sure it is a positive group of parents. The key word here is POSITIVE! Look for supportive groups.
- Take your time in asking or responding to any comments or questions. The beauty of social media is that you have time to reflect before you post. Take time to think about what you are going to say. Try to be someone who encourages positivity.
- Take time. Observe others and how they respond and react to situations.
- Reach out to family members that you respect in their parenting. This is huge! Family is forever. Your cousins, aunts, uncles and siblings can help you with your parenting dilemma. Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Look for a parent coach that you respect and has a reputable reputation.Parent Coaches are unbiased. They can give you solid advice and support your decision making.
- It is wise to keep a journal of questions you may have. It is also important and beneficial to take notes while in the discussion. Then you can refer to them along the way.
Finding your circle of Parenting support
Are you still unsure where to find your Circle of Parenting Support? Here are some activities that help provide a circle of support might be:
- Girl Scouts
- Boy Scouts
- Lego Robotics
- Sunday School
- Activities at church
- Activities at school
- Family activities
- Volunteer work
- Book club for parents
- Community Education Classes
- Similar interests
Your kids need a support circle too
Once you find your circle of support as a parent then you can help your child find their circle of support. The more positive relationships with adults are better. The Search Institute did a study and discovered that the most well adjusted adults came from home lives where they had 3-5 adults who they knew supported them. Encourage your children and your adult friends and relatives to be the supportive adult our children need.
Foster your kids relationships with
- close friends
A large network of good local friends or family can help pick up kids from school, cook or provide dinner, or just be there when needed. For example, when my oldest was 5 years old and had an open house at her school both my husband and I were unable to attend. So I asked my brother to attend it with her and of course he did. She loved it. I did not feel guilty for missing it because she got to spend time with her favorite uncle.
This is just one example. There was another time that I had one of my friends attend my son’s football game and bring him home. She had a fun time watching and he loved that she was there.
Having a circle of parenting support is having a group of friends that
- exchange ideas
- share information
- develop and practice new parenting skills
- learn about community resources
- give and receive support.
Four Benefits to Circle of Parenting Support
You may think the circle of parenting support is just for your parenting, but in reality it helps you to be more healthy as well.
- Reduces isolation
- Reinforces positive parenting
- Improves communication
- Improves problem solving skills
It provides you as the parent, time; peace; confidence in that you are an amazing person. We need that as a parent. Having a circle of support helps us as parents to be more present in our children’s lives. Who is your circle of support? Start looking for it right now.