In conversation with Pallavi Mathur Lal – Group Founder and Moderator, Parents2Parents
There are several communities today which are creating enormous value for mothers and parents, at large, by helping them when they need it the most and we, at BabyChakra, truly love them. This Women’s Day, we thought why not talk a little about their efforts, how the groups came about and what makes the members of the group feel so connected.
Here’s how Pallavi’s Parents2Parents, a Facebook group, is helping parents support each other through ups and downs of their parenting journey:
What spurred the idea of creating this community?
Parents2Parents was created in an evening chat on 25th June, 2013. Started as an idea to build a resource and support group for sharing some ideas for school projects, and other help around parenting, we are now a 6200+ member strong community!
What keeps the members together?
Parenting doesn’t have a formula, it’s something we learn as we go along. And we could do with help, advice, suggestions – to answer our doubts, validate, provide some direction, support and make us feel less stressed. That’s the basic need the group fulfills.
Unlike other groups, Parents2Parents strictly maintains the interaction between parents. Commercial posts are restricted to only one day a week and even then, only those related to parenting. You will never see fashion clothing or organic product ads or for weight loss programs. These only serve to put off parents and irritate them. Content is monitored closely, with messages sent to those not adhering to the rules to maintain the quality of interaction and keep the focus. This is noticed and appreciated by members.
“Parents2parents is an amazing community...we all know how raising children is extremely challenging ... It has helped me understand and reinforce that I am not the only one struggling”, says Ruchi (mother of a 9 and a 3 year old).
“A forum to validate our beliefs and hear our peers make suggestions to deal with a specific issue. A true support group!”, feels Vaishali.
“There are many other forums but this particular one has remained true to its purpose i.e of connecting parents...with relevant info, non-judgemental posts and above all no useless adverts or promotions”, as noticed by Ruchi. Girija (mother of 2 boys) likes the different approach - “Love the tongue in cheek approach as well. Most sites are full of gushy my child won an award look at the amazing costume I made. This one ventures into territory that is real. That is amazing and often funny or frustrating as well.”
“Most of social media has been polarised by extreme views that lean left, or right. But I see no such divide on this group. Commentators are here are not armchair activists but real people ready to provide real-world, unbiased advice to others in need” says Nishad (father of a teen). Tanu (mother of an 11 and 14 year old) adds, “the most positive aspect of this group is the inclusivity. So whenever an issue is discussed or an opinion sought, one gets to read both the father's and the mother's perspectives. And also the grandparents! So for me, this group is a well-rounded source of information”.
What keeps you going as the Community manager?
Moderating a Community is challenging, exciting and time-consuming. I do it because I love it. I have a full time job, 2 wonderful kids (9 and 11) who occupy my thoughts at all times, and many interests that I like to pursue.
Parents2Parents is my helpful side, my vulnerable side, my hopeful side, and my strength. I feel amazed at the interaction every day and how parents find support from each other. I have tried to maintain this, and for me the mantra is:
- Keep it Clean
- Keep it Relevant
- Keep it Interesting
I am proud of the positive reviews of my community members. They keep me going as a moderator, as the Community Manager.
As Parents2Parents continues to grow, my aim is to grow with the needs of the members, to introduce new features (like Anonymous Queries) which cater to the need that is sensed. There are many thoughts, many directions we can go in, and we methodically explore each. But the promise to the parents, and the spirit of the community shall remain.#realmommystory #realmomstories #realmommystories