ParentLine - a lifeline during children's early years
Becoming a parent makes absolute beginners of us all. You might prepare by reading books, or by asking other parents for tips. But acting on such advice doesn’t necessarily give you the results you hoped for. Or, what worked with one child, doesn’t work with another. What then? ParentLine Scotland's Alan Forgie has a suggestion.
Talking things through, with someone who is caring, non-judgemental and impartial, can help. That’s what ParentLine Scotland offers. It’s the free national helpline, webchat and email service for anyone who cares for or is concerned about a child, and can support you through parenthood’s challenges from the early to teenage years.
Call us, and we’ll listen while you say what’s on your mind. We’ll ask some questions so we’re clear about your concerns. Then together, we’ll explore options for moving forward, or perhaps look at ways to cope with any difficulties you face.
Recently we supported a mum and dad stressed out by their six year old daughter’s behaviour. She was really defiant, frequently kicking out at them. They’d tried to be positive, and used diversionary tactics. But it wasn’t working, and now their five year old was starting to copy her big sister.
The girls shared a room, and bedtimes were proving a flashpoint. Their older girl never showed remorse. She said that they loved her younger sister more than her. Mum and dad were at a loss - both girls were angels at school!
We acknowledged mum and dad’s hard work, and reassured that by trying to stay positive they were on the right track. We suggested tactics they might use to make bedtime stress free. We gave advice on consistency of routines; something we know is essential for a child’s behaviour to improve. We talked about how they might make family relationships more positive; by spending special time with their daughters, by choosing the right time to talk to them about their behaviour, by giving reassurance of their love, but also by demonstrating to them what it means to show remorse.
They said they now felt better equipped to meet their challenge. And that’s what ParentLine is for – helping ordinary parents with everyday problems. Whether you want to respond better to challenging behaviour, strengthen family relationships, or simply let off steam, we’re happy to help. We can support parents who are separating or separated to work better together in their children’s best interests. And if difficulties around money or housing are affecting you as a parent we can direct you to specialist advice providers.
ParentLine isn’t just for parents. Grandparents and other family members can call us, as can anyone who has a concern about a child. Seven days a week, 365 days a year.