Raising children can be fun and very rewarding. However, sometimes it can be stressful, and exhausting.
Parents and carers from across West Dunbartonshire are able to access positive parenting support on a range of issues affecting their child’s life, particularly during the child’s early years and as not all parents or carers are looking for the same kind of support, parents can access support tailored to suit their individual needs.
West Dunbartonshire Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP) supports a range of parenting groups include Mellow Babies for mothers and babies up to one year old; Incredible Years for parents of two to 12 year olds; Handling Teenage Behaviour for those looking after children from 12 to 18 years; and Triple P Stepping Stones Group for children aged two to 12 years who have developmental needs.
One mum who sings the praises of the Triple P programme is Zarah Patwary. Zarah, whose partner was not around, had just lost her mum and had given birth to her second baby.
With a new baby, a two year old and trying to deal with her grief, Zarah was introduced to the Triple P programme through her health visitor and says it was a lifeline.
She added: “I was dealing with a breavement and another baby and I couldn’t see clearly with all that was going on.
“The Triple P programme gave me something to focus on and helped me manage things. Before I had the support of the Triple P programme at times I felt desperate but with the support of my health visitor, who was only a phone call away, and the booklets and advice I learned how to deal with things like tantrums and sleepless nights.
“I am now the biggest Triple P advocate and would advise any new mum who needs support to seek help. You have nothing to lose.”
Marie Hickman, Parenting Support Team Leader, West Dunbartonshire Community Health and Care Partnership, said: “Parents who come to our groups are looking for different degrees of support and advice. We have a variety of parenting groups which enable people to get the level of support they need to help them find solutions to whatever parenting issues they may have.
“The great thing is that you don’t have to be struggling with parenting before you attend a parenting group. Many parents value coming together to learn new ways of handling behaviours and getting the best from their child and because the groups are informal and relaxed people usually find they enjoy the ‘me’ time and often report regret that the group is coming to an end.
“We understand that group work is not for everyone though and there are other ways of gaining information and support through a variety of people and services in West Dunbartonshire.”
For families with young children under the age of five years there is also additional support from the Young Family Support Service who offer either a Young Family Support Worker or an Early Years Outreach Worker who will work to support families in the home on a variety of issues relevant to the family’s needs.
There are many other parenting activates in and around the West Dunbartonshire area held within the libraries and activity centres such as Book Bug, [email protected], Rymetime and Baby Massage, all of which help support parents give their child a positive start to learning and developing through fun activities.
Marie added: “The Triple P programme is designed to give anyone responsible for looking after children, including parents, carers, grandparents or foster carers, the skills they need. It doesn’t tell people how to parent but gives simple and practical strategies that can be adapted to suits parents own needs.”
All of the health visitors and school nurses in West Dunbartonshire are trained in Primary Care Triple P and many parents have benefited from working with their health visitor or school nurse using the Triple P programme on specific behaviour problems such as tantrums, bedtime problems, disobedience, and many more.
Convener of West Dunbartonshire Community Health and Care Partnership, Cllr Gail Casey, said: “I would encourage parents to pop along to one of the sessions and see what support is available. Being a parent is hugely rewarding but can also be challenging and it’s during the challenging times that our group is there to offer support and advice and I would encourage parents to use the services.”
Anyone who wants to find out more about parenting programmes and support can either speak to their health visitor, nursery or school or alternatively can access information at
Notes to Editors
The Triple P Programme is designed to give parents the skills they need to raise confident, healthy children and teenagers and to build stronger family relationships. It doesn’t tell people how to parent but gives simple and practical strategies that can be adapted to suits parents owns needs.
Mellow Babies is for parents or carers with children under one. It is a group setting and brings together parents for four hours one day a week over a 14 week period. It is designed to help parents deal with a range of issues including relationships, friendships, trust and confidence.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected] .