Why is the Parent Advice Thread so Busy?

#1
I was browsing around looking at the goings on on the site for the December newsletter. The second Parents Advice thread has had 1325 replies and 52663 views in 45 days. This is quite astounding. It should be a marginal thread.

Why is this? (sorry if this is answered in the thread itself) Are the recruiting offices not attempting to communicate with parents properly? Is the face of the Army simple too scary to your average worried mum? Is there no worried mum's advice line?

Thanks
 
#3
theoriginalphantom said:
Is it becuase the first port of call for information is the internet these days? Look at the popularity of Wikipedia, but don't look at its accuraccy!
i think you have alomost answered it. maybe its because the ARRSE is so good, plus it may alos be because there is some peeps been through ti before and are passing on info
 
#5
theoriginalphantom said:
Is it becuase the first port of call for information is the internet these days?
Very good point of course - but shouldn't parents have a card with. "Need advice - got to www.chat-with-a-helpful-army-bloke-forum.com" or a phone number?
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#7
A lot of it is parents of of Junior Soldiers at AFC Harrogate who use this forum as a social networking site. Swapping stories of their kids and seeing what the other parents are experiencing.

A lot of it might be better suited to RearParty, but don't knock it, it's all to the good.
 
#8
I think a lot of parents may find themselves being told the answers they want to hear at the recruiting office. By coming onto this website and asking open and honest people, the majority of the time they will get all the info and honest feedback they need....
 
#10
Legs said:
A lot of it is parents of of Junior Soldiers at AFC Harrogate who use this forum as a social networking site. Swapping stories of their kids and seeing what the other parents are experiencing.

A lot of it might be better suited to RearParty, but don't knock it, it's all to the good.
I think you have hit it on the head there, Legs. I used to be very active in this forum (I'm no longer in the recruiting world, so cautious about what advice to give), and I'll admit that was one thread I stayed out of really.
From clicking through the last few pages, it seems to me that its a sort of online knitting group, a bit of stitch and bitch for the parents who would otherwise have nobody to talk to that would understand the situation they are in, with their children away learning how to be soldiers. Britain isn't in the same state as it used to be with familys being brought together by children in the same regiments from the same areas, it's unlikely that most people know the neighbours either side of them these days.

I see this as the modern equivalent to a stitch and bitch meeting for the parents to club together, provide support, a shoulder, encouragement and no doubt in some cases solid friendships for those who all share the common ground. It is definately a good thing, as it can be a good thing for the kids that use this site to suggest to the parents, as I think a main concern for some can be how will they cope not knowing whats happening- At least with this thread, there is a link to others in the same boat. It's always good to know you have somewhere to go.
 
#11
Good CO said:
theoriginalphantom said:
Is it becuase the first port of call for information is the internet these days?
Very good point of course - but shouldn't parents have a card with. "Need advice - got to www.chat-with-a-helpful-army-bloke-forum.com" or a phone number?
There isn't anything like this that I am aware of GCO, so far as I remember the parents are provided with contact numbers for the welfare chain, but no sort of support group. I'd imagine that they don't want to be calling their childrens DS- as no doubt the children wouldn't want either- for fear of showing their kids up.

You never know, maybe they are being given a link to this site from some recruiters! I certainly pointed some of my recruits in this direction in the past, if they weren't happy with anything I told them.
I wonder how many of them I answered on here, too? :wink:
 
#12
I am amazed no parents have actually replied in this thread... :)

I think the problem with rear party is, as a forum it wouldnt answer their dramas as the chance of an NCO from a phase 1 establishment or a recruiting NCO being there are slim to none. :wink:
 
#13
The new breed of parents and the new breed of soldier. Young lads joining up now are quite often staring at a deployment straight after Phase 2 in some cases. There's a sense of urgency for information.
No parent wants to wind their kid up by constantly phoning AFC on a daily basis asking questions. Also there may be an element that they don't want to phone up and ask bone questions or make comments that they feel might hamper their kids progress through training. The forum is the safe option. They can fire and forget a question and come back to see if it's been answered at their leisure. Plus they get several answers and opinions and have the choice to pick one that suits.
There've been issues with the odd coco trying to squeeze some kudos out of the forum and generally talking pap but credit to the admin guys, they get cut away.
Maybe, as an afterthought, kids don't get in touch enough and leave parents hungry for info. Some also dish out big massive whopping porkies that the most uninformed civvy would find hard to swallow so it's a good forum for asking for the truth without alerting the DS to the fact Little Johnny talks bloondocks.
Finally, with so many parents in the same boat and living so far apart it's a way of mutual support.
I think the value of this parents forum shouldn't be underestimated. It's fantastic PR and the info and advice from admin, serving soldiers and retired alike gives everyone a sense of security and lessens the worry. This in turn keeps the parents supporting what their kids are doing and that in no small measure is thanks to the ARRSE forum.
Good drills :)
 
#14
*coughs* sorry it took me so long Disco :wink:

Tbh I think the main reasons have been covered above;
1. Ease of access of info via the internet (Yes the rear party is another option but no where near as high on the google pages as Arrse so not as easily found by new parents, or as well used)
2. The experiences of others, whether that be parents, serving members on arrse, Phase 1 NCO's and even the odd Mod's comments ( :) ) can allay many fears/worries of families without them having to constantly phone up AFC to ask them if their little soldiers have got their facts right (hmmm)!!
3. I believe the latest intake were recommended this thread by AFC (whether they handed out cards, as Good CO suggested, I'm not sure lol)
4. young_lofty made a good point re families not having a similar support network locally.

My son was 16 when I first joined the site. He still seemed to be very young to be leaving home, which in effect he has done. I know I gained a lot of reassurance from the fact that I was going through similar feelings to others and it also helped to strengthen my trust that he was actually in good hands at AFC. I still post on the parents thread, as I see new parents going through similar feelings to those I did, and hopefully I can help them through that process of severing the umbilical cords :) (Not that I ever did hahaha) Ultimately though, because of the support I've had, its meant that I can then, in turn, support my son when he's had the tough days. He's at the grand old age of 17 now, in phase 2 and has other support networks he can now rely on but it's still comforting to know that I can call upon your combined wisdom to seek out advice should he ever ask me for it (Have I crawled enough yet? Please don't close the thread down :wink: )
 
#15
Thanks for the replies. Don't worry - I'm not complaining. It's a pleasure to see the site being put to good use.

What surprises me is the popularity of the threads - 30 posts a day in what I just assumed was a small thing. I suppose it's concentrated in one thread and most is social networking stuff rather than direct questions. It raises the question of whether we should have a separate board for concerned parents allowing better separation of topics and chat.

Thanks for the feedback all!
 
#16
From my point of view its a valuable tool to keep parents informed. My JS was the only person I knew to get the grades and enrole in the September intake. The view of some of the parents in my youngest lads schools was a sharp intake of breath when I told them what he was doing. Then came the looks of "my god, you've killed your son". To say I felt isolated would be an understatement. Add to that the lad gives me the musgroom treatment and I was clueless what was happening, when to plan for him coming home etc.

The thread and 99% of the contributors have helped me undertands things, get things into prespective and how to avoid the scams they pull. Like asking for a letter home then claiming their agai'd, so they can go off on their own.

The lad doesnt want me ringing up asking the office for information and showing him up so I havent. I have got all the info and support I need form the other parents and other people in the know on the thread.

I think a separate board would be a good idea.

Regards
 
#18
Theone said:
BTW, just a small point, there are dads out there who bring up their kids too. And worry.
FFS Theone. If you're that sensitive to gender correctness then you're on the wrong site regardless of whether the parents thread is a good thing or not!
 
#19
Hi

I didnt get to the Open Day at AFC but I believe ARRSE was mentioned to the parents then. Another Mum whose son is also at AFC told me about it. It took me 6 weeks to find it and ended up calling AFC and asking them about it. The advice and support on the whole has been great - it has got very political on occasions and I don't frequent the site nearly as much as I did.

A group of parents have started up a support group on Facebook which I find far more supportive, easier to use as well giving me an opportunity to speak to other parents on line as if we were face to face.

I don't know anyone who has a child at AFC who hasn't needed support, reasurrance or just the need to "rant" or "scream" at some point so I think its great that these types of support are around.

I for one never thought that it would be such an emotional rollercoaster having a child at AFC!!!!
 
#20
The beauty of having this thread here is it that it benefits from a number of ARRSE members contributing who probably wouldn’t if there was a specific board set up. Whilst the parents provide brilliant support and reassurance for each other, in other areas it is literally the blind leading the blind and as we have seen on several occasions once the rumour mill kicks in speculation rapidly becomes proven fact. Whilst not the parent of a serving soldier or Soldier under Training I do get a certain amount of satisfaction from being able to provide up to date information or clarification of details if required. The MODs on this forum provide robust leadership and common sense which creates an environment were non military personnel can come and get either reassurance or information without having to declare their concerns formally to the military chain of command, something which a lot of parents are reluctant to do.