Mummy blogs and parenting forums have cornered the market on family advice, but research has found many people won’t seek help because of a fear of judgement.
The pressure to portray a perfect family image is blocking parents, especially low-income earners or those with health problems, from reaching out.
Research from the Queensland Family and Child Commission shows almost 72 per cent of Queensland parents worried about being judged if they struggled with parenting, and 76 per cent avoided telling others outside their family.
Principal commissioner Cheryl Vardon said the unrealistic standards set online added to the pressure families felt.
“I’ve looked at some of the blogs, news feeds and websites online, and they do require a certain level of perfection and possessions,” she said.
“Not all families will be up for that and can feel judged or wish that they had a different life.”
She said it was particularly difficult for parents on low incomes, and who experienced employment difficulties, mental health issues or disability, but all experienced stress and avoiding help could be dangerous.
“Parenting is a really hard job and shouldn’t be underestimated — it’s tough” she said.
“Families can become isolated if they don’t ask for help and the problems that they experience can be made worse, in fact.”
Instead of logging onto parenting blogs, Ms Vardon encouraged people to seek out one of the 48,000 parenting services in Queensland alone that offered judgement-free advice.
– Kallee Buchanan
Image source – Flickr.com