Bringing up children: your views

Key messages received from engagement with those with a parenting role, to help shape the development of the national parenting strategy.

What stops you asking for help?

We wanted to know who you go to for help with your parenting role when you need it, but we also wanted to know what things can stop you asking for help.

Many of you said you didn't always ask for help, and these were some of the main reasons...

Don't know where to go

"I didn't know where to go or who to ask."

"I felt very isolated about 10 weeks after giving birth, I had no idea what kind of groups/networks were available."

"I didn't have family, I only had myself."


"Language barriers can stop us asking for help."

"Lack of understanding of our culture from services and authorities."

Previous experiences

"Scared to ask for help again if first experience is bad."

"Negative feedback from other people engaged with services."

"No one was listening."

"Not being treated as an individual."

"Waiting times."

"Too many forms."

"Having to explain things over and over to different people."

Embarrassment/worried about being judged/failure

"Stigma…afraid to ask for help in case you're judged."

"Feeling embarrassed and ashamed."

"You don't want family thinking you can't cope, don't want them to worry."

"Gender stereotypes can make it hard for fathers to ask - you should know what you're doing. You're the man, you should be the strong character that can deal with everything."

"I think sometimes it's hard to ask for help because you can be made to feel like you're begging."

"If you have older children then you feel you are expected to know everything if you have another child."

"Lack of language and literacy skills."

"Always just handed a leaflet - often can't read the leaflets but then you feel too embarrassed to ask."


"Concerned about accessing support in case people think you're not coping with the care of your grandchild."

"Fear of contacting agencies in case children are removed. Not aware that other support can be offered."

"Scared to ask, want to hide domestic violence."

"Because you're younger [16 years], you're scared to ask for help - you'll be judged as a failure. You're not a good mum."

"Worried someone will take over and I will lose control."

"A lot of the time you feel it is up to you to cope so don't ask for help."

"Didn't want to bother anyone."


"Exhaustion, depression, felt too low and pride stopped me asking for help."

"Lack of self esteem, lack of belief in own abilities."


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