50 Key Messages – Parents Need Good Social Networks
Connecting with other parents
Connecting with parents similar to your self can be a great support.
Here are some things you can do to connect with people and groups in your community:
Parents of children aged birth to 3 years:
- See if you have a local Parent and Toddler group and get involved if there is one. You can get more information from your local county childcare committee. Here are details from Parent Hub Donegal’s services page of the Parent & Toddler groups in Donegal http://parenthubdonegal.ie/services/job-listings/?search_keywords=parent+and+toddler&search_region=0&search_categories%5B%5D=
- Go to the local park with your child or places where families walk and play – you might meet someone you know. It is always easier to get to know other parents through children. Children will naturally play with other children so, this could be an opportunity to mix with other parents.
- Visit your local library – there are often activities of interest to parents and children. Very often, your local library will run activities for children and parents, why not take time out to visit your local library, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find there.
- Enrol your child in day care. Again, the local County Childcare Committee will be able to point you in the right direction in terms of early years services, what is available and how much it will cost. Many Early Years services have activities that are geared for parents, so why not have a chat with the manager and see what is available. Some Early Years services have Facebook pages, this might also be a way to engage with other parents.
Parents of children going to primary school:
Get involved in your local National School Parents’ Council or other parent groups. Schools are always looking for parents to support the school, so why not have a chat with the school principal about what is available and where you can link in.
Some communities have baby massage sessions available and this can be a good way to meet parents in your area.
Touch is the newborn’s first language – it is their other prime means of communication and plays an essential role in the forming of early parent-child relationships. Massaging your child allows you to express emotional affection and to fulfil your baby’s need for physical contact. The benefits of massage are both emotional and physical, so your baby will achieve all round well-being.
If you are a young parent have a look at the Foróige Teen Parenting programme