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Supporting Parents

We often say it takes a village to raise a child.  Yet recent research by the Search Institute in conjunction with the YMCA found most parents are "doing it themselves" without the support, encouragement, and networks that make it easier for them to raise strong kids and overcome the daily challenges of parenting. 

Parents who do seek help are most likely to seek support from family and friends.

More than half of the parents surveyed said they do not regularly reach out for parenting help, advice, or support from immediate or extended family, friends, or community resources.  Only 4% said they receive support from all three sources. 

Many parents face ongoing demands that impact their parenting including job demands and financial pressures.  They reported feeling unprepared for a situation, overwhelmed, and unsupported by family and friends.  When asked what would really help them as parents, they said "others telling them they're doing a good job as parents" and "having other adults whom they trust spend time with their kids".

It can be hard to ask for, or offer, support to parents yet we know that networks of support actually help to strenghten families.  Parents who have access to and seek support from others are more likely to be warm and affectionate towards their children, more involved in their child's education, have children with larger social networks, and to be more consistently positive with their children.