Almost every parent coulduse some help raising their child,from figuring out the right helmet forbicycling or if a fever needs medicalattention. But not all parents can find it.
A recent study of Calgary parentsfound that they want a large varietyof information but don’t always knowwhere to find it. The study foundparents value informal support (suchas play groups and talking with familyor friends) and formal support (ledby a trained parenting educator).
Informal sources were used most often,with Internet and convenient drop-inclasses preferred.
Maureen Devolin, who oversawthe study for Alberta Health Services’Reproductive Health, Healthy Childand Youth Development department,
Everything you wanted to know
about your kids but didn’t know
where to ask
Four key resources reveal answers on children’s health, growth and development
says study results have been and canbe used to shape future parentingprograms and resources.
A similar study by the Universityof Calgary looked at what dads needin parenting programs. It foundmoms like learning about parentingin groups, while first-time dads preferone-on-one programs.
“First-time fathers told us thatthey needed an individually tailoredprogram to build their skills andconfidence as a father,” says KarenBenzies, a professor in the Faculty ofNursing. Like moms, dads also wantedongoing resources and informationabout their child’s development.
One tried-and-true parenting
resource is Health Link, particularly
in the wee hours when others may not
be available. Cindy Connell, senior
practice consultant, Health Link
Alberta, says parents with newborns
and infants call most often about
breastfeeding, fevers, rashes and
getting their little one to sleep. Parents
with toddlers and older children call
most often about coughing, vomiting,
fever and child safety seats.
If you’re looking for informationabout your child, these resources canhelp:
Health Link Alberta
24-hour phone lineToll-free anywhere in Alberta:1-866-408-5465 (LINK)
In Edmonton: 780-408-5465 (LINK)In Calgary: 403-943-5465 (LINK)
My Health Alberta
Web-based consumer healthinformation from Alberta HealthServices and Alberta Health.Visit myhealth.alberta.ca
Connect to information and supporton children’s learning, developmentand health, or to one of more than 55Parent Link Centres in the province.Visit parentlinkalberta.ca or call1-877-644-9992
Healthy Parents, Healthy ChildrenAHS’s newest suite of parentingresources (see page 28). Visithealthyparentshealthychildren.ca.
— Colleen Seto