Connecting with Others

Building a network of people who care about you and your family.

Happy family of parents, three children, and a grandfather

A lot of parents feel too busy or too overwhelmed stay connected to the people and activities that bring their life balance, let alone make new friends. However, building a network of social connections is worth the extra effort. It can offer you the opportunity to give and get practical support and celebrate your successes. Talking things over with trusted friends or family can help you recharge and see problems in a new way. Feeling valued and understood, and knowing you can turn to others for acceptance, advice or a helping hand can help you to be a happier and more confident parent.

Connecting with Others can look like…

Nametag from an event

Trying something new to make new friends

Woman reading a book to a child

Surrounding kids with supportive, caring adults

Tablet and a cell phone powered off

Turning off your devices when it’s time to connect

Hear From Parents

Ask Yourself…

There are no right answers. Thinking about these questions can help you understand your family’s strengths.

Are your close relationships respectful, caring and mutually supportive? Flip to Learn More
Emotions can be contagious. And that makes the quality of your closest relationships important. So, take an inventory of your family, friends and romantic relationships. Are your closest companions caring, respectful and supportive? Do you give and accept help from one another? Take the time to start and maintain healthy friendships and relationships. They’ll offer you and your family the support you need to be strong. Back to Question
Do you have friends who are also parents? Flip to Learn More
While all friendships are wonderful, the relationships parents build with other parents can be especially important. You’ll be able to share the joys and frustrations of raising a family with people who understand. And you’ll see other parents and parenting strategies in action. When you become a new parent or transition to a new stage of life, it may take some extra effort. But adding other parents to your social network can really pay off. Back to Question
Who would drop everything to help you in an emergency? Flip to Learn More
No one can get through life alone. We all find ourselves in situations where we need help and support. Whether they’re picking you up when the car won’t start or providing child care during a time of need, your network of friends and family can be helping hands for you and your kids. How can you expand and strengthen your connections? Sometimes it is necessary to go outside your comfort zone, try new things and meet new people. At the same time, remember to maintain the healthy relationships that you already have. Back to Question
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Try This

Now that you understand the Five Strengths and why they are important for all families, you may want to explore more about how you can recognize and build them for your own family. Explore the ideas and exercises below, or go to the Next Steps page to find resources that can help guide you as you explore what to look for, where to learn more and what you can do to build each of the Five Strengths.