Stop blaming the parents

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December 15, 2016 12:00 AM

SOLUTIONS Catherine Grieve, creator of the Parents Promoting Parents support group, wants those with at-risk children to know they're welcome to join the organization, where they can talk to other parents and receive resources for themselves and their children.

Parenting group teaches methods to deal with challenging problems facing moms and dads

When a child or youth does something bad, many might get a knee-jerk reaction to blame the parents, but Catherine Grieve, creator of the support group Parent Promoting Parents, doesn’t think that’s quite fair.
“What we’re trying to do is reach parents who are parenting kids and youth in the community who don’t quite fit into the mainstream population here—kids who struggle in school, kids who are struggling with peers, relationships, with parents, kids who are in trouble with the justice system,” she said.
“So we’re here to support all those types of challenging behaviours and hopefully we can help each other; we’ve had some really good meetings where parents have cried, shared their stories and we’ve given each other laughter and hope to get up to parent another day.”
Grieve said she got the idea based on her own experiences raising a child who had challenging behaviours and who also got in a bit of trouble with the legal system in the past.
She added she sees community members shaming troubled youth on social media, which rubs her the wrong way because she understands these kids are people too, who may just need some support to put them on the right track. 
And not only do these youth need caring mentors, she said, but so do many of the parents who may not know where to turn.
“If we see stuff like that being said about our kids, how does that feel? And what does that make us look like,” she asked.
“Because it’s not always the parents, it’s the whole environment, so basically what we want to do is get the parents supported, and the goal is to also find qualified mentors for these kids.”
She said it can be isolating as a parent having a child who refuses to go to school, may be turning to drugs and alcohol, or is just hanging out with a bad crowd.
That’s why Parents Promoting Parent wants to offer a place with other people in similar situations who can share experiences, go to presentations together and talk to professionals who can help them with the everyday stresses of raising at-risk youth.
“There’s so much criminal activity here, so many young people turning to drugs and crime just to survive and a lot of parents whose kids have been in trouble or whose kids have quit school,” said Grieve. 
“I know a lot of parents who face challenges with their kids and we all need support.”
The group was started a year and a half ago, but took a hiatus during the summer to find a less expensive place to meet, and fired back up last month at its new location at the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce building.
Now Parents Promoting Parents meets every second Monday at 7 p.m., and is also looking for volunteers, so anyone looking to lend a hand or to get some support can call Grieve at 780-522-1555.

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