Being a parent of a child with special needs, behavioral, or mental health issues can be a challenging and rewarding experience, but it can also be lonely and isolating at times. From friends to family members or even your spouse, finding people who really get your kid and how they need to be supported is hard.
When your child is struggling with behavioral issues and mental health, you can make yourself sick with worry as you try to navigate getting the right help. It can be daunting trying to figure out what your kid is when mental health in America is murky at best.
That's why having the right guidance, and a supportive community is essential for every parent, but even more so when your child is struggling. And in our Natural Parenting Solutions Community and CALM Brain Insiders Group, you also get guidance from trained mental health professionals. And that is so important because you don’t want to be Googling at 2:00 AM in the middle of a crisis. You need proactive solutions and that is why I created these groups.
Part of the benefit is you are joining a parent group with people who have similar experiences who get where you are. No having to explain yourself, just acceptance. That is pretty priceless on this journey.
There are many benefits for parents when they are part of a parent coaching group and it can be a vital part of child and family mental health.
Benefits of Parent Groups On Children’s Behavior
Raising a child with special needs can be a rollercoaster of emotions, from feelings of joy to frustration and even anger. Having a community of parents who understand these emotions and can offer support and encouragement can make all the difference. Not everyone has family members who get what you are going through and a parent group can fill that void.
Navigating the complexities of the special needs system can be overwhelming. Having a community of parents who have been through similar experiences can provide valuable insights and practical advice, from navigating the school system to accessing resources and support services.
Some groups and communities have access to mental health professionals who can provide support and guidance. This can be especially helpful for individuals who are struggling with mental health challenges and need additional support.
A Sense of Belonging
Being a parent of a child with special needs can sometimes feel like being in a world of your own. Having a community of like-minded parents can provide a sense of belonging and help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. It can also help to increase self-esteem and confidence, which are crucial factors in maintaining good mental health.
Encouragement and Inspiration
Watching other parents in your community who have overcome similar challenges can be incredibly inspiring and encouraging. Knowing that you are not alone and that others have been through similar experiences can help to boost your confidence and resilience.
Opportunities for Advocacy
Being part of a community of special needs parents can also provide opportunities for advocacy and activism. Working together, you can bring attention to important issues, raise awareness, and advocate for better policies and services for children with special needs.
Offering Support and Encouragement
Members of a group or community can offer support and encouragement to one another, especially during difficult times. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and provide a sense of comfort and security.
Sharing Experiences and Advice
When individuals share their experiences and advice with others in a group or community, it can help to provide a new perspective on challenges and difficulties. This can lead to better problem-solving and decision-making skills, which can help to maintain good mental health.
Encouraging Healthy Habits
Groups and communities can encourage healthy habits, such as exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness practices. These habits can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall well-being.
Providing a Safe Space
Groups and communities can provide a safe space for individuals to express their feelings and thoughts. This can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and provide a sense of comfort and security.
Let’s face it, implementing strategies on your own isn’t always easy and that is where the power of a group can help. When you see others testing strategies and solutions and the changes they bring, it can not only inspire you to do the same but you have a group of people who hold you accountable too.
Every special needs parent needs a community for emotional support, practical advice, a sense of belonging, encouragement and inspiration, and opportunities for advocacy. Whether it's through a support group, online community, or even just a small group of friends, having a network of support can make a significant difference in your mental and emotional well-being, as well as the well-being of your child.
What Does the Research Say About The Impact of Groups and Communities Mental Health?
You know I am all about research and there is a lot of positive research that has shown that groups and communities can have a positive impact on mental health.
Research supports the idea that groups and communities can have a positive impact on mental health by reducing loneliness and social isolation, improving self-esteem and confidence, decreasing stress and anxiety, providing access to professional help, and encouraging healthy habits. It is important to seek out and participate in groups and communities that align with your values and interests, and to prioritize your mental health.
Participation in social groups and communities can reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation, which have been linked to poor mental health outcomes. When individuals feel connected to others, it can help to improve their overall well-being and mental health.
Research has found that it can help to improve self-esteem and confidence, which are crucial for maintaining good mental health. When individuals feel valued and supported by others, it can help to boost their self-worth and provide a sense of security.
Being part of a social group or community can help to decrease stress and anxiety levels. When individuals feel supported and understood, it can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and promote a sense of well-being.
Research has found they can provide access to mental health professionals, which can be especially helpful for individuals who are struggling with mental health challenges. Having access to professional help can provide individuals with the support they need to overcome their challenges and improve their mental health.
Being active in a group encourages healthy habits, such as exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness practices, it helps to improve overall well-being and reduce stress and anxiety. These habits can help to promote good mental health and reduce the risk of developing mental health problems.
How Can Group Coaching Help ADHD Parents, Special Needs Parents and Parents of Struggling Kids?
Group coaching can be an extremely beneficial resource for parents of children of all ages, even high schoolers, with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, anxiety, depression, OCD, PANS/PANDAS and other behavioral or clinical mental health issues. Trying to figure out what solutions can help a parent improve or remedy specific issues or behaviors on their own is very hard without guidance from a trusted professional.
That is exactly why parents join my CALM Brain Insiders Group because they need those step-by-step solutions. Yes, the internet is fabulous and I can hardly imagine my life without it but when it comes to your children's and families’ mental wellness, you need the right solutions.
But you already know that because what you are doing isn’t working, otherwise you wouldn’t be searching for help right now. I am glad you found me because I have guided thousands of parents just like you to science-backed, natural solutions that calm the brain and behavior. When that happens, that means more attentive, less stressed, and more connected kids.
Being a parent of a child with ADHD or other clinical issues can be isolating, but group coaching provides a platform for parents to come together and share their experiences and advice. You can learn from the experiences of others and benefit from their wisdom and support.
Benefits of Groups for Parents of Children with Clinical Mental Health or Behavioral Issues
Learn From Others
It provides a safe and supportive environment for parents to discuss challenges and emotions. You can talk openly about the difficulties you face and receive understanding and encouragement from others. It can help parents develop effective coping skills for managing the challenges associated with ADHD, anxiety, OCD, etc. You can learn from the experiences of others, as well as receive guidance and support from a coach.
Work on Their Own Stuff
Group coaching can help parents to develop positive behaviors and habits, including positive self-talk, setting and achieving goals, and managing stress and anxiety. Parents can learn these skills through interactive activities and receive feedback and support from a coach.
Build Communication Skills
Learning about the best way to speak with your child can have a positive effect on communication skills, both with your child and with other important people in your life. You can learn strategies for effectively communicating with your child, reducing conflict, and building stronger relationships. Parents can learn techniques for active listening, expressing emotions appropriately, and resolving conflicts in a constructive manner, and apply these skills in their relationships with their children. It is all about learning how to speak in a way your child can hear you.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Raising a child with an attentional, emotional or behavioral issue can be stressful, but group coaching can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. You can receive support and guidance from others, as well as learn techniques for managing stress and anxiety. They can develop effective coping skills for managing the challenges associated with raising a child with behavioral or communication difficulties.
Develop a Growth Mindset
Being part of a group led by credentialed individuals can help parents to increase their self-awareness, understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and develop a growth mindset. This can help to improve your overall well-being, increase your resilience, and make you a more effective parent.
Group coaching can be a valuable resource for parents of children with attentional, behavioral or emotional needs. By providing a safe and supportive environment, improving communication skills, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing self-awareness, group coaching can help parents to better manage the challenges associated with clinical issues and enhance their well-being. It is important to seek out and participate in groups and communities that align with your values and interests, and to prioritize your mental health.
de Korte, M. W. P., van Dongen-Boomsma, M., Oosterling, I. J., Buitelaar, J. K., & Staal, W. G. (2022). Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) parent group training for young children with autism spectrum disorder: a pilot study. Scientific reports, 12(1), 7691. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-10604-2
Malhotra A, Baker J. Group Therapy. [Updated 2022 Jun 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549812/
Mulqueen, J. M., Bartley, C. A., & Bloch, M. H. (2015). Meta-analysis: parental interventions for preschool ADHD. Journal of attention disorders, 19(2), 118–124. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054713504135
Waxmonsky, J. G., Wymbs, F. A., Pariseau, M. E., Belin, P. J., Waschbusch, D. A., Babocsai, L., Fabiano, G. A., Akinnusi, O. O., Haak, J. L., & Pelham, W. E. (2013). A novel group therapy for children with ADHD and severe mood dysregulation. Journal of attention disorders, 17(6), 527–541. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054711433423
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Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, The Washington Post,, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.”
She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach. She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.