Parenting is one of the most beautiful and challenging jobs you can do. Each phase of this journey brings new questions and difficult decisions.
However, open discussions about the challenges of parenting are rare - especially when a parent or child is struggling or struggling with an illness. Parent burnout is more common as a result.
One study compared a control group of parents of healthy children with a group of parents of chronically ill children. They found that 36% of the parents of sick children showed clinical signs of burnout. However, 20% of the control group also suffered from burnout.
However, these results should not be surprising given the burden of responsibility and social pressure on parents. A burned-out parent has less energy and less patience. It can be virtually impossible to regain balance without outside support and understanding.
At such times, a helping hand can be found in parent support groups - not only professional ones, but also informal ones created by the parents themselves.
Research shows that support groups help develop and foster parenting skills, a sense of strength, belonging to a group, and even self-esteem.
As they say - the power is in the group. It is worth looking for and joining groups where we can feel good and share our difficulties, fears, but also joys without fear. Parents sometimes think that they are bad parents when their child has problems. Consequently, their shame and embarrassment may prevent them from talking to other parents about their experiences. In addition, guardians may get the impression that only they have difficulties and that other families live easier and more peaceful lives. The feeling that other parents have excellent relationships with their children and know what to do when their child is suffering, and only we are lost in the trials and tribulations of parenting, can effectively weaken our sense of well-being.
Therefore, a safe support group is a priceless experience worth participating in. Connecting with other imperfect parents reminds guardians that they are not alone and that other parents experience similar situations and challenges on a daily basis.
Lindström C., Aman J., Norberg A.L. (2010) Increased prevalence of burnout symptoms in parents of chronically ill children, Acta Paediatrica.
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