Help with everyday parenting problems

Parenting can be hugely rewarding. But everyone who cares for a child, whether a family friend or part of the child’s extended family, can find it challenging from time to time. When you need advice on something specific, or simply an impartial and non-judgemental listening ear, ParentLine is here to help.

We also provide web-chat during opening hours. Click the button to launch web-chat:


For tasters of the support we offer, explore the topics below.

Our partners, Parenting across Scotland also have free information on a range of topics for mothers, fathers and carers.

All children behave inappropriately from time to time, and as a parent it can be difficult working out why they do what they do. At ParentLine, we recognise the problem is with the behaviour not the child, and we’ll help you to think through the child’s behaviours as well as the best way to respond. So you can be sure what you do next time will make the situation better, not worse.

Children communicate through their behaviour, so improving how you talk with, and listen to, your child will often help. We can suggest ways to do this, for example by advising you on establishing morning and bedtime routines with your child. And we can help you set clear and fair boundaries around what your child is and isn’t allowed do – boundaries that they can understand and accept, and that you can consistently apply.

Children pick up on what adults do as well as what they say. If your actions and habits are saying something to your child that you would rather they didn’t, we can help you spot and change this.

Occasionally, a child may be communicating distress because something difficult or even traumatic has, or is, happening to them. At ParentLine we’ll help you spot signs that something is seriously wrong, and where necessary advise you on what to do next.

As children grow they don’t just change physically, they change mentally and emotionally as well. As a parent or carer, you may feel the relationship you have with your child is strong and trusting one day and distant the next, leaving you feeling bewildered or frustrated.

ParentLine can help you identify ways to strengthen the relationship you have with your child. We’ll suggest techniques for improving communication, for example finding a time and place to talk without distractions, or using open questions that don’t just lead to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. The support you receive will reflect your child’s needs, based on their age and stage of development, and will help you to get on better with your child whatever their age.

There’s no such thing as the perfect parent, and everyone gets stressed from time to time. Advertising and the media can leave parents feeling that if they aren’t superhuman they’ve failed, but ParentLine knows this is unrealistic and we won’t judge you for not being perfect. Being responsible for the care of a child can sometimes feel quite isolating – we’d love to hear from you, even if all you need is someone to chat to.

So if you want to offload, that’s okay with us, but we can also help you find support in your area with practical issues such as money worries or housing problems. Give us a try.

If you suspect that your child is being bullied you can call ParentLine to talk through your concerns. We’ll help you identify the signs of bullying, which can be difficult to spot where the child feels the need to conceal things.

We can also advise you on how to have a conversation with your child so that if they are being bullied, they tell you. And when they tell you, we’ll help you to respond in the right way. So wherever the bullying is taking place, we can work with you on how to best to deal with it, and we’ll continue to support you until the issues are resolved.

The internet provides fantastic opportunities for your child to develop socially in a fun environment. But unfortunately the virtual world can also expose children and young people to real-life harm.

ParentLine can help you to keep them safe by treating the internet as a place, not a concept. In the same way you make sure your child is safe when they go to party, you can also make sure they’re staying safe in social media and chat room sites. We’ll advise you on how best to do this, and direct you to specialists who can help with technical issues and information if you need it.

We’ll also talk through how best to speak to your child about online safety - conversations which are vital to ensure your child understands how to stay safe online, and so that if something or someone does upset or threaten them, they’ll let you know about it.

Separating is difficult for all members of the family, and although most parents and carers want to make it easier for their children, sometimes they aren’t sure what to do.

ParentLine can advise on practical matters such as financial responsibilities or contact rights, and we’ll direct you to specialist advice where you need it. We’ll also explore ways of improving communication between you and your former partner so that you can work together to do what’s best for your children.

We’ll help you decide when and how to involve children in decisions affecting them, allowing their voices to be heard and making sure they’ve got the support they need at a difficult time in their lives. And we’ll also help you to avoid painful mistakes, such as inadvertently making children feel they are being asked to take sides. If any of this sounds familiar to you, give us a call.