Support group offers resources for struggling parents

(Joe O'Neill/WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Burke High School was a center of learning not just for students on Tuesday, but for parents as well.Parents Anonymous is a peer-to-peer support group for parents that are having issues or struggling with their families or children. "Hope isn't all we're giving them, but hope with concrete resources to change and transform their lives," said Troy Strother, Executive Director of Parents Anonymous of South Carolina. "We know that child abuse can be eradicated by giving parents the support and the tools they need to be good parents but also have the resources to be good parents."Groups meet weekly in 89 communities across the state where trained facilitators provide resources to help make parents' lives easier."We know that alcohol, drug abuse, no job, the economy, are all ingredients for parents not to do well and to harm their children," said Strother. "We know that if we can give parents the resources, if they can reach out for help, asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength."According to Katrina Wright with Communities in Schools, parents are a vital part of a student's success. She's the Parents Anonymous facilitator at Burke High School and their groups cover a range of topics for parents."We've talked about higher education for students, what do I need for my child to get to college. We've talked about resources for the holidays," she said. "I've had a parent talk about bed-wetting. From the very basic, to the more extreme things."The focus at Tuesday's group session was helping teen mothers with the struggles they face as new parents. Topics ranged from balancing school work and a job while taking care of a child, to focusing on the future of two people (parent and child) instead of just one."Stay focused," advises Wright. "It's not the end. Keep working hard and you can go wherever you want to go."

For more information about when and where each group meets, contact the Parents Anonymous office at 843-747-0480.