How Parent Support Groups can Help

Jan 30, 2024 | Adult Toolbox, Counselor's Corner, Newsletters

by Megan Bradley, LMHCA
BYS Therapist

Published Feb. 2024

“Is this normal?” or “Am I doing this right?” Both are questions that may pass through a caregiver’s mind multiple times a day as they engage in the act of parenting. Along with these questions may come feelings of guilt, shame, loneliness, and isolation. Feeling like you are an island, alone in your struggles, can be extremely debilitating. This is where parent support groups can prove to be enormously beneficial as part of your self-care routine. 

Benefits of parent support groups

  • Provide a space for you to feel validated in your struggles – knowing you are not alone in your experiences and others have been where you are at.
  • Offer a safe space to vent about issues when you feel you are at the end of your rope – sometimes having another person simply state, “It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling, I get it,” can be liberating. 
  • You can share your highs and lows with eager listeners who are able to laugh and cry along with you. 
  • Often groups can provide resources and referrals for issues related to parenting. 
  • Present a place to appreciate your child for who they are and where they are at. 
  • The connections you make with other members in the group can be long-lasting and provide significant positive benefits. 

What is self-care

By engaging with a group you are adding to your overall wellbeing and this in and of itself is an act of self-care. Self-care, as defined by the National Institute of Mental Illness (NAMI), is not self-indulgent. Rather, it is the radical act of improving your own health physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and professionally. Studies have indicated that a positive family environment is influenced both by overall wellbeing and sustainable acts of self-care (Soto et al., 2022). 

Self-care can be as simple as brushing your teeth, moving your body, eating a nutritious meal, or remembering to take your vitamins. It can also be finding community wherein you are able to commiserate. 

How parent support groups are a form of self-care

By seeking support you are meeting your own needs and this will have a ripple effect. As children often learn th rough observing caregivers’ behaviors and attitudes, modeling of self-care gives them permission to take care of themselves in a similar fashion. Further, by respecting your needs and boundaries your child will learn to respect their own. Though every parent is unique, their experiences are not singular, and you are not alone in your journey. Your story and voice are valuable and deserve to be heard. 

*If you are interested in joining a parent support group please reach out to BYS with your inquiry. 

ABOUT MEGAN BRADLEY, Therapist. Part of the BYS team as part of her internship through Antioch University Seattle’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program. She looks forward to helping provide a space where teens and young adults feel like they can show-up as their most authentic selves!


Arky, B., & Mba, M. S. P. (2023, October 30). How parent support groups can help. Child Mind Institute.,a%20place%20to%20find%20support.

Get parenting tips. (n.d.).

Parenting, N. (2023, March 18). Why taking care of yourself as a parent matters. Nurturing Parenting.,as%20well%20as%20their%20own.

Soto, N. Y. T., Verdugo, V. C., & Corral-Frías, N. S. (2022). The relationship between self-care, positive family environment, and human wellbeing. Wellbeing, Space and Society3, 100076.

Staff, N. A. (2022, November 22). 5 reasons why parenting support groups are so important. Newport Academy (2020, April 24). A Guide to Self-Care for Parents: Why making time for yourself matters – Waterford.org

Zapata, K. (2023, September 12). Parenting Can Be an Isolating Experience, But You’re Not Alone. Parents.