Today, more and more parents feel powerless to educate their children and exercise their role “correctly.” The questioning of authority, overloaded schedules, new family structures, and so many new challenges parents are not always prepared for. However, support is available. Help for parenthood is developing everywhere so that parents, alone or as a couple, can improve their well-being and their family.
Parenting assistance: for whom, why?
Today, one parent out of five declares having encountered difficulties in the education of their children. Although parenting support systems have existed since the 1990s, parenting has recently become a significant issue. A national committee to support parenthood was even created by the government in November 2010. So who is this program for?
The evolution of the role of the child, but also the many changes affecting families (single mothers, single-parent families, blended families, etc.), marital relationships, and the role of parents sometimes make parenthood and child-rearing difficult. Their place in the family is gradually being redefined. More and more, they occupy a central role, and finding the right balance between authoritarianism and permissiveness seems increasingly complicated for parents. Questioning traditional education methods, justifying punishments, for or against spanking the increasing amount of information, and even injunctions from pediatricians and child psychiatrists do not make parents’ tasks any easier either.
The role of parenting support groups
Whether it’s for a difficult separation, communication difficulties, or support for mothers with young children, the support groups provide personalized help based essentially on dialogue and sharing. There are no ready-made solutions or educational guidelines: the aim is to adapt the response to the family context on a case-by-case basis. For Olga Trostiansky, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of solidarity and the family, “the increase in the number of single-parent families and blended families is one of the main concerns of parenting support structures.” For parents, step-parents, divorced or not, finding their place in the education and life of the child can be a problem. Parenting support services are aimed at all family compositions and all issues, whether they are intra-family, school, or professional. According to the deputy mayor, “parenting support aims to provide answers to families of all kinds, of all origins and all compositions. The support offer, set up jointly by the government and association networks, also exists thanks to parents’ action, who are sometimes the initiators of discussion groups or parent-child exchange places.
Parenting support groups aim to increase parents’ confidence in their parenting skills. Often feeling judged and evaluated in raising their children, parents lose faith in their authority and judgment. Parenting support does not take the place of parents but provides guidance and support.
Every parent needs a little help from time to time. We know that supporting parents means better outcomes for the child.
Parenting support is a way of functioning and a collection of activities that give parents and caregiver’s knowledge, advice, and assistance regarding raising their children to attain their full potential.