01:12PM, Friday 13 March 2020
Anita Cleare (Photo: Abi Moore Photography)
A Windsor mum has raised £4,000 to set up an online forum to support parents of teenagers.
Whatever Together will offer a platform for people to share their experiences anonymously.
The forum is the brainchild of professional parenting speaker Anita Cleare and mental health expert Nicky Runeckles.
“There is a lot more support for parents with young children,” said mother-of-two Anita. “Parents of older children are not socialising with other parents in the same way.”
A crowdfunding page has been set up to raise £10,500 needed to launch the online community – this will cover the cost of buying and adapting software and maintaining the platform.
“It is expected that young children will have tantrums and it’s not stigmatised,” Anita said.
But parents of teenagers often ‘encounter a judgemental attitude’ and are blamed for their children’s behaviour.
“Teenagers do make mistakes and push boundaries and parents need reassurance,” Anita added.
Anita has also founded The Positive Parenting Project, a social enterprise which works with parents, employers, schools and children’s centres to reduce the stress of modern parenting.
She studied developmental psychology at university and has worked with children of all ages but struggled to find a ‘non-judgemental network’ for parents of teenagers to share their experiences.
Through Whatever Together parents will be able to log on to the forum at any time to seek advice, share stories and be honest about their struggles in the safe company of like-minded parents.
The forum will also support parents whose children may be suffering from depression and anxiety, self-harming, bullying or be involved with drugs, alcohol and crime.
“Whatever Together will be a friendship group in your pocket, to pick you up and help you keep on being the parent your teenager needs,” said Anita.
The crowdfunder page has raised £6,000 and if they don’t hit the target by the Wednesday deadline, Anita says ‘we have enough to do something’.
Visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ whatever-together-1 to donate.
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