Parent Support Groups and Classes Based on Relief for Hurting Parents by Buddy Scott...
(Information on parenting classes is at the bottom of this article.)

About support groups based on Relief...

Attending a support group does not mean you are weak and in need of support. Participants are people who want to put forth their best effort to be good parents. Think of support groups as companionship groups. Here are several of the many benefits of a parent support group based on Relief.
  • Concerned parents, grandparents, and guardians find each other and enjoy an oasis of companionship where they are understood and supported (rather than suspected of being inadequate by people who haven't had the same experiences and can't understand).

  • Single parents enjoy adult-level conversation, support, and companionship.

  • Grandparents are provided with in-flight refueling for the second time around.

  • Parents and guardians are given the opportunity to regroup after their kids have brought the worst out of them.

  • Parents and guardians learn to cope with their frustration, fear, guilt, embarrassment, disappointment, and grudges. By coping, they can provide their children with a revitalized Christian witness and a favorable home environment in which to improve.

  • Parents and guardians achieve balance between the extremes of being too rigid or too permissive.

  • Parents and children are "saved" from bad experiences in counseling offices, programs, groups, and classes that do not respect traditional values and principles.

  • Parents and guardians receive referrals from other members to professionals who have established good reputations for competency with support group members.

  • Parents find opportunities to serve--to help with crisis intervention by reaching out to each other's families.

  • Parents learn how to put forth their best effort to reestablish a healthy relationship with their children so that no matter what happens, they can feel assured that they did their best.

  • Parents learn how to prepare their younger children for less dangerous journeys through adolescent years.

Companionship is found:
Concerned parents are no longer isolated. They meet people who really do understand how they feel. The parents have an instant peer group comprised of parents who also care so much they hurt. They pray for each other's children and families.

Contact is made with voices of experience:
Parents learn to avoid the mistakes that have been made by other frustrated parents. They experience living illustrations of how to use the concepts and principles within Relief. They exchange phone numbers and discuss the newest crises and consider appropriate responses.

Support begins to occur:
Parents confide in each other at the meetings, and some rely on each other via phone calls and visits between meetings. Fathers from the group help single mothers talk to their sons. Mothers from the group help single fathers talk to their daughters. Parents from the group intervene during times of severe stress by taking in children until tempers cool down and families can safely reunite through counseling or therapy. The possibilities of support are fascinating and almost without limit.

New reflexes develop:
Parents learn how to respond in healing ways to their children by studying Relief.

Balance is achieved:
Parents who are too strict become more reasonable.
Parents who are too permissive become more realistic.
Uniquely, the book and the support group were designed to help parents move from either extreme to a balanced position. Balance is the key to proper posture in parenting.

United fronts come together:
Parents in two-parent homes become consistent and reliable in the way they parent their children. Single parents find support from other adults. Divorced parents solve their battles over discipline when both agree to "parent by the book" in each home. Grandparents find new strength for their second time around.

Recovery efforts become consistent:
Relief teaches parents how to carefully and consistently orchestrate a rescue and recovery operation for seeking to redeem their children. Support groups hold parents steady while they apply the concepts and principles in the book.

Community awareness is a natural outcome:
Parents learn which professionals to turn to for help and which ones to avoid. They learn which treatment centers to use and which ones cause more problems than they solve. They learn how to work effectively with local schools, police departments, children's protection units, juvenile justice systems, and other agencies. They learn which school counselors, schoolteachers, counselors, therapists, ministers, youth workers, police persons, social workers, and juvenile probation officers are most understanding, supportive, and helpful...and which ones tend to automatically side with kids against parents. All this information is absolutely vital for avoiding hazards and for accessing authentic help.

New wisdom is applied:
Parents learn to use the Seven Commandments for parents as a quality-control measure for determining their attitudes and actions toward their children and each other. They learn to use the Fifteen Towers of Conviction to establish basic principles for raising children. They learn to use the Seven Towers of Strength for becoming sufficiently strong to apply their Seven Commandments and stay true to their Fifteen Convictions...and feel better because they are doing their best as parents.

What are parenting classes based on Relief, and where can they be taught?

Parenting classes teach Relief for Hurting Parents without including support-group components: Administrators, teachers, and parents organize classes in or near public and private schools for the parents of the students who attend their schools.
Education departments in churches offer a class as an elective in their Sunday school program. (Note: There are seventeen lesson plans in the Leader's Guide and Teacher's Resource Volume. These can be adjusted to comprise thirteen lessons for fitting within the thirteen weeks of church school curriculum.)
Counseling agencies and clinics offer a class as a community service.
Counselors and therapists provide the class to parents who have been mandated by judges and courts to attend a parenting class.
Be creative. There are many possibilities for teaching PWR Classes.

Parenting classes can grow into support groups:

An ideal way to start a support group is to begin with a class. As the class nears its end, the teacher begins to announce the support group. Those attending, who sense the need for support and companionship, will be inclined to continue in the group because they have become comfortable with leaders and participants: The idea of being a part of a support group has penetrated their comfort zones.
Churches often use the above method for starting a group. They offer parenting classes based on Relief in their church school program as an elective; and at the end of the series of classes, they convert it into a support group. They change the meeting time to one that is most agreeable to the schedules of those who choose to participate.
Another unique approach is to offer both a class and a support group from the beginning. The new venture is publicized as both a class and a support group. The first hour is for the class. Then there's a break for refreshments and fellowship. After the break, the support group convenes for those who wish to stay for the second hour, the hour of support. This approach is being used very effectively.
Note: Allon Publishing and no longer attempt the impossible task of keeping up with groups (everchanging meeting locations and times) through the world. To find a group based on Relief, check with Christian counseling centers and sizable churches in your area.