How to Use Local Parent-to-parent Networks

Types of Local Parent-to-parent Networks

Parent-to-parent networks exist in many forms. Some of these networks are national, while others focus on linking parents in a specific region or city.

Nationwide parent-to-parent networks often serve as support to local networks, and beginning your search with these may help you to narrow things down. Their Web sites often have a directory of other networks that may interest you or that may be located in one specific region [source: P2P USA]. Also, a nationwide parent-to-parent network may be the best choice if you are looking for support relating to a less common disorder or disease. However, if you would like to work with a local parent-to-parent network, there are many out there that might meet your specific needs.

The subjects of local parent-to-parent networks range from general to specific. Many states have general parenting support networks that focus on issues that affect all families, from early childhood development to preventing risky teen behavior, as well as ways to handle conflict and keep families strong. These networks are often broken down into smaller regions and allow parents to connect with other parents in their area through online chat rooms and blogs and discuss issues that are prevalent in their neighborhoods [source: Strengthening Families Illinois].

Specific parent-to-parent networks can address concerns related to particular family situations or specialized childhood diseases and disorders. There are networks, for example, that provide support groups for single, divorced or widowed parents. Other networks focus on aiding parents who are raising a child with special needs, from learning disabilities to genetic disorders. These provide links to informational resources as well as offering support to parents through discussion boards and parent-to-parent matching, which links two parents in a similar situation.

With a bit of Internet research, you can find a network in your area that addresses your needs. Once you have found a network, you may discover a wealth of resources that can help you work through your current situation. Read on to the next page to learn what you can expect to find in a parent-to-parent network.