Parents* make a difference in Manchester
* The term "parents" includes all parents and carers acting in the parental role.
Manchester City Council and its partners (in health, schools, police and the voluntary sector) are working together to try to make life better for children and families in the city. We know how important parents are. We want to tell you what's going on in the city and where to get help and support if you need it.
Being a parent can be one of the best jobs in the world - but also one of the hardest. And few of us get training. Most of us just do the best we can. If we're lucky, we learned good parenting from the way we were brought up, or we have friends and family around to talk to when we're finding it hard. But if we didn't have loving parenting ourselves, it can be hard to know how to do the best for our children. And even if we did have a loving childhood, life is very different now to when most of us were young.
More mothers return to work while their children are young. Fathers are more involved than ever before. People move around more, so there may not be family nearby to offer practical help and advice. We are under more pressure to spend money on our children than ever before, which is especially hard if you're not in a well paid job. And attitudes to discipline have changed. Most people who are parents now will have been smacked when they were growing up. We may think we're "not supposed to smack" now, but how do you discipline a naughty child without smacking? And if you have relied on smacking while your child is young, what do you do when your sixteen year old son is bigger then you are and starts hitting you back?
Perhaps the hardest thing is that we never finish learning how to be a parent. The first months of parenting can be a real shock. This tiny creature is totally dependent on us and there is so much we don't know. But it can be just as challenging to try to help a nine year old who is being bullied at school, or a fourteen year old who is truanting. Most parents will find they need a bit of extra support at some time in their child's life. Or perhaps you just want to know more about how to help your child learn, or what leisure activities are available in the city.