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6 Jul 2023 | 13:13 | [email protected]

What Stops Parents/Carers from Attending Group Sessions?

Parenting is a journey filled with joy, love and challenges. It takes a village to raise a child, and yet, sometimes, parents and caregivers find themselves facing these challenges alone. Lots of group sessions exist around Dorset and they can provide a valuable support network, but lots of barriers prevent parents from attending. 

In this blog post, we will explore the common barriers that parents and caregivers told us about, and discuss the importance of breaking these barriers to create a more inclusive and supportive environment. 

Work hours/work commitments: 

Many parents have demanding work schedules or commitments that clash with group programme timings. Juggling work and childcare responsibilities can make it difficult to find the time to attend sessions. Have you ever heard of Flexible working? 

‘Flexible working’ means making a change to the hours your work, the times you work or your place of work. It is altering the way you work in a more flexible way - If you feel this may benefit you and your family, check out the link below: 

https://workingfamilies.org.uk/articles/flexible-working-a-guide-for-employees 

Logistical Barriers: Transport, Cost, Timing, Location! 

Limited transportation options or financial constraints can pose significant barriers, especially for parents in rural areas or those with limited access to public transportation. If this is a barrier that stops you attending sessions, why not consider virtual/online group sessions that you can attend from the comfort of your own home. https://busylizzy.co.uk/online-baby-classes offer a range of different baby classes from home via zoom! 

Mental Health Difficulties, Lack of Confidence, Social Anxiety 

Parenting while dealing with mental health issues, such as postnatal depression or anxiety, can feel overwhelming. It's common for parents to compare themselves to others, especially in group settings where different experiences are shared. But remember, each parent has their own story, their own strengths, and their own challenges. Your journey is special and deserves to be valued. 

We understand that parenting can sometimes feel overwhelming, and it's natural to question your abilities along the way. At DorPIP, we want to assure you that you are not alone in these feelings. We are here to help you break free from self-doubt and embrace your unique parenting journey. 

We believe in the power of support and encouragement. Our Together with Baby group programme provide a safe, nurturing space where you can freely share your experiences without fear of judgment or stigma. You'll find a community of parents who understand the ups and downs of parenting and are ready to listen, share, and uplift one another. We create an environment where you can be your authentic self, knowing that your emotional well-being is valued and respected. 

By sharing our stories and supporting one another, we create a culture of acceptance and understanding. Your emotional well-being is just as important as your child's, and investing in your own healing will positively impact your parenting journey. 

Attending groups when there are people you know 

It's natural to have concerns about people you know being present in group programmes, you may be worried you don’t compare to them as a parent, or that you will be judged by them. At DorPIP, we prioritize creating a safe and confidential space where your privacy is respected. 

Your journey as a parent is unique, and we want you to feel comfortable and secure when sharing your experiences. Our Together with Baby programme provides a judgment-free environment where everyone's privacy is honoured. We emphasize the importance of confidentiality and foster a culture of trust and respect. 

If someone you know is attending a Together with Baby class, they will show similarities to yourself like that determination to seek support. It's a shared experience that can create deeper bonds and understanding among peers. Instead of feeling apprehensive, you can find comfort in knowing that others in the class likely feel similar to yourself. 

Previous negative experiences 

Parents who have had previous negative experiences in group settings may be reluctant to try again, feeling that they haven't benefitted or had their needs met in the past. 

Take a moment to reflect on your previous negative experiences in group settings. It's important to acknowledge your feelings and concerns. By doing so, you can gain clarity on what didn't work for you in those situations and identify the aspects you'd like to see improved in a new group. Reach out to friends and family who have had positive experiences in group settings. Hearing their stories and recommendations can help alleviate any doubts or fears you may have. They might even suggest specific groups or communities that align with your needs and interests. Dive into online resources, community boards, and social media platforms to find groups that cater to your specific requirements. Look for testimonials, reviews, and success stories shared by other parents who have found value in those groups. This will help you narrow down your options and find a group that resonates with you. Remember, every group is unique, and by stepping outside your comfort zone, you're opening yourself up to new perspectives, ideas, and connections. Approach this experience with an open mind and a willingness to engage in the activities and discussions. Embrace the possibility of discovering hidden talents, gaining valuable insights, and forming meaningful friendships. 

Breaking these barriers is crucial for creating a supportive environment that empowers parents and caregivers. Recognizing and addressing these challenges can help us develop more accessible and inclusive group programmes. Providing flexible timings, transportation support, affordable childcare options, and fostering a non-judgmental and understanding atmosphere can encourage more parents to participate. #BreakTheStigmaWithDorPIP 

If you or someone you know is facing these barriers, reach out to DorPIP for support and guidance. We are here to help you navigate your parenting journey and provide a safe and nurturing space for growth and connection. 

#BreakingBarriers #InclusiveSupport #EmpoweringParents #ParentingJourney #SupportNetwork #CommunitySupport #BreakingStigma #AccessibleProgrammes