Why does getting help with parenting get such a bad rap?

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We’ve all heard the advice “work smarter, not harder.” We apply it to so many aspects of our life, so why not parenting?

When we work smarter at the office, at uni, on a job site, or even at the gym, it’s usually because we’ve found better ways of doing things or asked for help. But for some reason, when it comes to parenting, we feel like we must know it all and do it all ourselves.

We’ve spoken with thousands of Queensland families in the last few years and, while 53% of parents said they had struggled to cope with the stress of parenting, only 17% had used a family support service or parent education program.

Why? We kept hearing the same answers — parents are worried about being judged.

Parenting is hard. But you’re not alone. Most of us need help from time to time.

Friends and family are amazing supports and often willing to help out when you need it. But sometimes, the advice and opinions from those close to us can feel overwhelming. Sometimes, having an objective point of view can really help to put things into perspective.

In these situations, a family support service can be a good source of support.

Family support services help parents and carers get the help they need to provide a safe, nurturing home for their children, and to feel confident, empowered and supported as parents. Services provide help in the form of information, emotional support or even a little practical assistance.

The oneplace community services directory helps you search for the support you need in your local area. There are more than 48,000 Queensland family support services listed in this directory, from mums’ groups to domestic and family violence support services.

Services provide different levels of support, so you don’t need to be in crisis to ask them for help. In fact, some services offer general information and guidance to parents who are not experiencing any immediate major challenges.

For example, parent education programs can help parents develop skills and strategies for raising their children and dealing with challenging behaviour at any age. Parents can do these programs online or in face-to-face groups.

As parents, we don’t judge others who admit they’re going through a tough time and need some help — so why are we so hard on ourselves?

Using a family support service has nothing to do with ‘failing’ as a parent. It’s about learning, growing and taking some of the confusion out of parenting. Parenting is hard, and getting help is all about parenting smarter.

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Last Updated: 25 June 2020