PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Being a parent is hard, especially today with cell phones and social media having such a dramatic impact on children. Now, New Jersey is infusing millions of dollars into a hotline to help parents navigate challenging situations.
It’s certainly challenging to be a kid these days, and that means parents too are struggling to understand how to help their kids navigate complicated situations.
“Don’t feel like you're failing. Don’t feel like you’re a bad parent, you don’t know what to do. Nobody prepared us for what we’re dealing with today,” said Kathleen Roe, with Parents Anonymous of New Jersey, Inc., or Parents Inc.
Roe says the state is providing money for them to expand and help more families. “More than ever, parents need to reach out for support,” she said. “One of our mottos at Parents Inc. is that reaching out doesn’t mean you’re weak. It’s a sign of strength.”
The organization has a hotline staffed 24/7 that parents can call or text with questions or concerns on complicated topics. Roe says even parents who just need someone to talk to can call or text 1-800-THE-KIDS and be linked with a trained mediator.
“The line is for information and referral and if you just need to talk, which so many parents do,” Roe said. “Sometimes you’re so close to a situation and you’re so stressed out, you can’t even think straight.”
Just last week, she says, she spoke with the mother of a girl being bullied online.
“She was at her wits’ end,” Roe recalled. “She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know how to help her daughter. And you know sometimes just talking it out helps a parent figure out what is the best solution for them.”
Roe says they are looking for parent volunteers as well.