A Helpline for Tired Parents – New Jersey’s Best Kept Secret?
As a parent, how many times have you had enough?
If you still have kids or teens, there’s a job opportunity for you any day, anytime in New Jersey — and it’s one that advocates are sure isn’t used as often as it is. he should.
“It’s New Jersey’s best-kept secret,” said Kathleen Roe, executive director of Parents Inc. “We’ve operated the helpline for 40 years.”
The Family Helpline, run by parents inc.offers free, confidential, around-the-clock support for parents and caregivers who just need to vent or have serious questions about parenting and the safety and well-being of their children.
“Yes, our line is a referral line and a crisis line, but the most important thing about our line is that we are a crisis line,” Roe said. “We always answer the phone with a trained and friendly volunteer, usually a parent themselves.”
The nonprofit handles 3,000 to 7,000 calls per month, Roe said. Yet she hears parents all the time who say they wish they had known about that line when their baby had colic or their teenager was leading them on the end of their rope.
“We sell people this myth about what it’s like to be a parent. Nobody really prepares you for how hard it is,” Roe said. “As someone with children who are now adults, I can tell you that parenthood never ends.”
The number to call is 1-800-THE-KIDS. Roe said there are plans to launch an SMS service this summer.
Parents Inc. also runs free parent support groups throughout New Jersey and virtually.
Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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