Testimonials From a Range of People and Their Experience of Parentline
I spoke to a lovely lady on Thurs afternoon this week about my teenage son and the trouble he'd constantly got himself into which culminated in us asking him to leave the family home this week. Not an easy time for us but I felt so much better after talking to Parentline (wish i'd got the lady's name). I was at my wits end & couldn't get hold of any of my usual 'supports' so on spur of moment rang u. Very glad I did, this lady spoke to me and listened for nearly an hour, was very understanding, supportive and non judgemental, Thank you Parentline, our problems haven't gone away and I'm sure the rollercoaster is not going to stop anytime soon but you have really helped me this week.
We have been working with ‘Parentline’ for the past 5 years and have found it to be a great organisation for our members to tap into. Sometimes our parents feel there is no one there for them as they focus on their children with Dyspraxia. The lifeline for them is for us to transfer them through to the ‘Parentline ’Helpline for support , guidance and to have the ear of experienced volunteers at the other end .Most of our parents do not have the financial means to even consider intervention for themselves. Being able to offer them the services of Parentline at no cost is greatly appreciated by Dyspraxia/ DCD Ireland and our parents. Established in 1995 by parents of children with Dyspraxia/DCD, we are active in the following areas: Supporting regional support groups throughout the country. Promoting awareness of Dyspraxia/DCD in Ireland in order to create a better understanding of the challenges children and parents face. Supporting parents, individuals, families, teens, adults and children affected by Dyspraxia/DCD
Being a parent is the most wonderful and important thing the majority of the time. But it can also be the most challenging. The unconditional love we feel for our children mean any problems they are having, particularly with us, tend to be magnified. At these times, parenting can be a particularly solitary and isolated occupation. Often we can use other family members as sounding boards. But for a variety of reasons, there are times when parents don’t feel comfortable revealing issues to others close to them. It can be easier talking things through over the phone with somebody who you have never met before and will never meet. That is where we believe Parentline comes in. Our volunteers, who are trained in listening and counselling skills, are there to offer support, guidance and information on all aspects of being a parent. They do this in a completely non-judgmental manner and no time limit is placed on calls with a typical call duration of 50 minutes. There is no problem too big or too small and no typical call or caller and our service is entirely confidential. Most of all Parentline is there to listen and guide parents to help them to find the answers they seek. Parentline is open from 10am until 9pm Monday-Thursday and 10am to 4pm Friday with an out of hours answering service.
In the early hours of the morning I was sitting up in bed, with my beautiful 3 month old baby girl wide awake in my arms, yet again neither of us having slept a wink. I had the radio on low in the background when I heard the advertisement for Parentline. I had never heard of this group before and the advertisement registered with me big time. My tiny baby girl had been born 2 months premature after a traumatic pregnancy and she wasn’t sleeping for more than 2 hours at a time and I was so worried about her. She was gaining weight, albeit slowly but was doing fine, however I was always anxious about her. I couldn’t understand this as she was my second child and I had no problem coping with my first baby, a gorgeous boy, who wasn’t a great sleeper either. This anxiety was almost paralysing, so much so that when my baby fell asleep I was checking endlessly to see if she was still breathing. I was struggling to cope and the sleep deprivation wasn’t helping. Despite having a very supportive husband, even on the nights that he took over, I couldn’t sleep. I would lie awake worrying. Due to our work commitments, we had to settle down many miles from our extended families which meant we were very much on our own. Strange thing is that even if there was “hands on” support available, I wouldn’t have admitted that I was struggling and needed help. I wasn’t trying to be Super Mum, but surely I could manage two babies without help. I always pretended that I was managing fine. Sometimes I even got defensive as to why things wouldn’t be fine. Didn't I have two healthy babies, a loving husband and a nice home? However underneath it all, it was a huge struggle for me. My emotions and feelings were all over the place and I always arrived at the same conclusion that I was not up to the job of being a mother. A few days after I had heard the Parentline advert, having done much soul searching as it’s not easy to confide in a stranger, I decided to ring Parentline. After a shaky start, lots of hesitating, I poured out my story, the volunteer listened to me, reassured me, listened some more and directed me towards help. I felt so much better after the call, reassured that I was fit for the job of being a mother and that I could get help. Literally, I felt as if a load had been lifted off my shoulders. I was delighted that I had called Parentline. I was so impressed with Parentline, the level of professionalism, competence, knowledge and genuine caring of the volunteers that I joined and trained as a volunteer the following year. I have been a volunteer with Parentline since. That “baby girl” is now 28!
Every parent is an expert on their own child, but sometimes we need someone to help us make sense of our gut feelings. With the national, confidential service offered by Parentline, you know trained and experienced volunteers will help you figure out what's right for you and your family, rather than offering solutions that sell a brand of expertise or justify a fee.
Parentline is a great support for parents across the country. It is there for parents of children of all ages. There is no “typical” call to Parentline. The trained volunteers have experience helping parents dealing with a wide range of challenges. Some problems faced by parents can be difficult to share with other family and friends and it can be hard to know what help is available. Parentline offers confidential support to help parents to figure out the best way forward.
Parentline's volunteers are at its core. The wealth of experience, the kindness and the loyalty of this group of people is amazing. Parentline is over 30 years old, during which time it has gone from strength to strength, consistently providing a service which is invaluable to Irish families nationwide. It continues to listen and support parents in distress. My involvement in Parentline started fourteen years ago when, after extensive training, I became a volunteer on the helpline. I am still working the lines today. It is a privilege now to be the Chair of Parentline. I was appointed in June 2019 and I follow in the footsteps of many other great supporters of this wonderful charity. Parentline is based at Carmichael House in Dublin along with many other organisations in the non-profit community. The helpline room, where the volunteers take calls, is the heart of the organization. The team is led by CEO Aileen Hickie. There is always a sense of calm and congeniality in the helpline room and many life-long friendships have resulted from time spent there. While our volunteers are the core of Parentline, our callers are the reason we exist. Parentline ensures that there is ongoing training to help deal with the many issues that arise and the changing nature of the calls. Technology has changed how bullying takes place. Financial constraints can mean older children still live at home or return to the family home. Becoming a parent later in life can cause isolation and loneliness. Access arrangements after separation and divorce can be tricky to negotiate. Blended families are an increasing phenomenon. Gaming amongst the teenage community can present problems. There is a plethora of reasons why parents call us and we endeavour to help by listening, validating their concerns, providing information if it's appropriate and giving them the time to tell their story. We provide a confidential service and we do not judge; this means our callers trust us with their very private concerns.