7 Online Support Groups for Parents During COVID-19 Pandemic
As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the nation and more people fall under stay-at-home orders, social media has become more necessary than ever before. Clicking through our newsfeeds has become a vital link to the outside world for those of us who are self-isolating–our only means of interaction with friends, family, and the world at large.
Social media is frequently demonized–the cyberbullying and bad behavior, the data collection, the impact advertising policies can have on the social consciousness–but in times like these, it's often a lifeline, and not just because it allows grandma to see her grandbabies. Since the pandemic took hold, a myriad of Facebook support groups have popped up, offering community to pretty much every walk of life you can think of. Medical workers? Yep. Parents working from home with kids? Sure. Pregnant people and new parents? All through the lens of coronavirus.
These highly specific groups can offer support to folks who may not have people on their regular feeds who can relate to their particular circumstances. And by offering the chance to communicate with people who get it, they make the day-to-day fear, tedium, and overwhelm a little easier to take. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Coronavirus Parents: Parenting in a Pandemic
With over 35,000 members, this pandemic parenting group is a growing hot spot for parents who are struggling with how to raise kids during such uncertain times. The group's tagline, "A group for parents, by parents, who are committed to supporting each other through the coronavirus pandemic," pretty much says it all. Started in early March by nonprofit group Parents Together, the group Coronavirus Parents is a place for parents to ask questions, get answers, and feel safe and understood within a community of people like them–those trying to negotiate parenthood during a global crisis.
2. Quarantine School
One of the hardest things parents have had to deal with as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is being thrust into the role of educator. Since school closures became the norm, many parents have been scrambling to fill their kids hours with if not educational, at least enriching, activities–and wow has it been a struggle. If the transition from parent to isolation-educator has been daunting or overwhelming then a group like this might be just what the doctor ordered. (A quick head's up though, this is a public group, which means anything you post will be visible to anyone on Facebook.)
3. The COVID-19 Baby Parent's Group
Expecting and new parents need plenty of support during the best of times, but during the coronavirus pandemic but when faced with hospitals overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, new visitation rules for delivery rooms, and the general uncertainty about how coronavirus effects pregnancy, the stakes can feel especially high. A group just for those who will deliver or who have delivered during the pandemic can be just the social-distancing shoulder you need. Sharing information and commiserating over fears can provide pregnant people and new parents the sense of community and solidarity they need to make it through.
4. COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Support Group
If anyone deserves extra support during the coronavirus pandemic, it's healthcare workers. On the frontlines, facing what feel like impossible odds, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are literally risking their lives to save others. Facebook groups tailored to the very specific emotional needs of these workers is necessary as places to vent, cry, support, and ask for advice. As our healthcare workers continue to fight the pandemic, we hope they all find access to the support they need to keep going.
5. Single Parents: Surviving Single Parenthood
Especially during times like these, single parents need support. Whether working from home, out on the frontlines and scrambling for child care, or suddenly out of a job, single parents face very specific challenges that their married or child-free peers can't understand. Social media support groups like Surviving Single Parenthood can be the lifeline single parents need during the coronavirus pandemic.
6. Special Needs Parents Support & Discussion Group
Parenting a special needs child comes with its own unique set of challenges, but with shelter-in-place orders, schedule disruptions, and doctor's appointment logistical difficulties, it might have never been harder. Support groups like Special Needs Parents Support & Discussion Group, that are geared toward the specific challenges of parenting special needs children during the pandemic and abrupt change in everyone's lives can be the difference between feeling alone in the struggle and having a like-minded community from the comfort of your own home.
While Nextdoor may not be the first place people look when they need help shouldering a crisis, the hyperlocal social media platform should be stop number one when you have questions bout what's going on in your area. Whether it's which local grocery store has toilet paper or what time the curfew starts each night, chances are someone on your neighborhood board will know. And when it comes to older adults and those at risk, Nexdoor is the perfect platform for asking for help or offering to help out those nearest to you.
A new map feature allows members to sign up if they are willing to help neighbors with everything from errands and groceries to check-ins. Neighbors in need can then private message willing participants for help when needed.
Support is now more important than ever and it is our sincerest wish that you are able to find a group of peers that help you get through these scary, uncertain times.