By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | March 25, 2015
I was desperate and needed help but the time never seemed just right; there was laundry, errands to do or I was meeting a friend for coffee.
Over the years parents have asked me and other Helpline volunteers this question. The answer was simple, really, whenever they feel the need. With Parents Anonymous, parents decide what is best for them. The groups are open ended so parents can start or stop attending whenever they want. Some parents attend sporadically, usually when an issue rises and they want ideas or feedback from other parents. Then you have parents like me who needed ongoing support to keep a lid on anger or to deal with the frustration of parenting a child with ADHD, mental illness or other issues.
Here is a sampling of questions brought to a Parents Anonymous Group:
• Do I really have to buy designer label clothing for my child to keep their self-esteem high?
• My teenage daughter insists on wearing G-strings and sneaks out of the house at night, should I be worried?
• How do I explain the birds and bees to my kids?
• My son is bullied at school, how do I talk with the school officials?
• I’m a divorced father and I left my five-year-old son outdoors unattended and CPS says I have to come here, what can you teach me?
• How do I get my husband to stop yelling?
• I have zero patience; what can I do to become more patient?
• How hard do I need to hit my daughter with the wooden spoon to get her to listen?
• My son seems very sad all the time; what should I do?
• My mother-in-law says my son is too thin even though he eats well; should I be worried?
Parents not only talk about parenting issues; any stress affects how we parent:
• I am a parent with special needs, how can I get my boss to stop abusing me?
• The other carpool-mom is a bad driver; how do I tell her?
• My daughter needs to have white sneakers, how can I get grass stains out?
• My husband pushes me but that is not abuse, is it?
• We just moved to the area, can anyone recommend a good pediatrician and therapist?
• The landlord tells me our son makes too much noise for the tenants below; what should I do?
• Our electricity was cut off, who can I call for help?
• I just found out I’m pregnant with our fourth child… [tears] I don’t want more children!
• With the divorce in progress, how can I get my needs met?
• I’m wiped out, the neighbor’s dog barked all night again; are there city ordinances to deal with that?
• My ex is never on time with child support and I’ve been let go from my job; what will we do?
• We never seem to have enough food at the end of the month; does anyone have any ideas what I can do?
Whatever the issue, other members can share their experiences and feedback to help. Every group is facilitated by a trained professional who has links within the community to resources that can help solve many stressful life events.
Parents Anonymous Groups belong to the parents who attend the groups and parents direct discussions. Stress is one of the major causes of unintentional child abuse. Venting, getting feedback and finding solutions at a Parents Anonymous Group can help prevent that abuse.
If you or someone you know needs help all you have to do is ask. Find a group that meets nationwide by calling the National Parent Helpline: 1-855-427-2736 – Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST.
In New Jersey call the 24-hour Family Helpline to find a local group, vent, find resources or just to talk: 1-800-843-5437. The online groups are three times every week EST: Wednesdays 9:00 p.m., Thursdays 12:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 p.m.
The Parents Anonymous motto: “Asking for help is a sign of strength.”
WEEKLY QUOTES: Driving, Fathers, Mothers
Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead. ~Mac McCleary
A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank. ~Author Unknown
One father is more than a hundred Schoolmasters. ~George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640
The phrase “working mother” is redundant. ~Jane Sellman
Leave sooner, drive slower, live longer. ~Author Unknown
It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road. ~Author Unknown
Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance. ~Ruth E. Renkel
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. ~Ambrose Bierce
The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it. ~Dudley Moore
Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly. ~Author Unknown
My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys.” ~Harmon Killebrew
Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you’re the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside. ~Rachel Wolchin
Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.
New Jersey 24-Hour Family Helpline: 1-800-THE-KIDS
Parents Anonymous® of New Jersey, Inc.
Phone: (609) 585-7666
Fax: (609) 585-7686
Join the Online Support Group
Wednesdays 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST
Thursdays 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST
Sundays 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Parents Anonymous® Inc.
Phone: (909) 621-6184
Fax: (909) 621-0614
National Parent Helpline
1-855-4A PARENT OR 1-855-427-2736
Hours: Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST