Parents and Caretakers Need Friends Too

While children need support from their caretakers, caretakers need support from others as well. Whether this support comes from other family members, friends, or neighbors, caretakers sometimes need extra help raising a child. There is only so much time in a day, and the smallest kink in a busy parent’s schedule can throw everything out of sync.

When life’s unexpected surprises surface – like a death in the family, the failure of a car starting, or loss of income – caretakers must address each problem as it comes along. When caretakers are forced to focus on newly surfaced problems, time interacting with their children can often be shortened. Sometimes this can lead to children not getting the proper attention or interaction, which in turn negatively influences child development.

However, by fostering relationships with other adults, caretakers can fulfill their (sometimes unexpected) adult obligations while also making sure their child is properly taken care of. When a car breaks down, a neighbor can make sure your child gets home safe from school. When a death in the family occurs, a friend can look after your child while you settle post-mortem obligations. In short, when caretakers have fostered relationships with family, friends, and neighbors, these unexpected life circumstances can be handled better to the benefit of the child.

This is why it is important for caretakers to forge new relationships, foster current relationships, and perhaps repair deteriorating relationships. Life does not stop for anyone, and everyone can use extra help.