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Parents come together to support one another at Power UP Parent Cafe event

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – As many parents know, raising children is a lot of work, and sometimes people struggle. The Early Learning Collation of Northwest Florida joined up with Goshen Ministries to offer parents an opportunity to find support.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, parents gathered at the Goshen Evangelic Ministries center in Panama City for the event.

There was a designated kids’ room for the children to eat and do activities while the parents gathered in a separate room. The parents sat in groups together and were given prompted questions to discuss, such as who they are as a person and about their families. The discussion then focused on the challenges that each individual faces in day-to-day life.

Event organizers said having a safe space for parents to talk about their struggles is important.

”There was a need for this across the country and we’re part of Help Me Grow National, we have Help Me Grow Northwest Florida here and the parent cafes are part of that program. The goal of all that is to give parents a space to learn from each other, talk to each other,” Brooke Powell, a communications specialist with the Early Learning Collation of Northwest Florida. “Everything that they say in that room is confidential and it’s a judgment-free zone and just to be able to share the struggles that they face that are the same struggles that we all face as parents.”

Powell said they want to give parents more opportunities to have these safe spaces, so they will be holding more Parent Cafes.