Raising Healthy and Happy Kids: Who Stands for Montenegrin Parents?

By , 16 Mar 2018, 12:01 PM Lifestyle

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Kids deserve the best. There are certain things that are easier to say than do, but it seems that time off for heroes has not been passed, at least not in Montenegro.

Everywhere in the world children are priority #1, and Montenegrin people genuinely believe that children are the most precious gift. You can feel this warm attitude everywhere: at the airport customs office or a small grocery shop – a kid will make everybody smile. Unfortunately, our young and developing state, for the time being, is unable to provide necessary support to new parents through things like classes, training or online consultancy. The only accessible form of support is a short cursory program for pregnant women at the State Health Institution (Dom Zdravlja) which lasts from September to April. Of course, it’s better than nothing, but what about further parenting support?


In the country where the implementation of basic social standards still appears to be a space shuttle launch, social improvements become a real challenge. And Montenegrin society demonstrates a fantastic example of goodwill, efficiency, and self-regulation in this field. Founded in 2011, the Parents Community (Udruzenje Roditelji) undertook the highly complex task of bringing mums and dads of the entire country together to find answers and solutions, help and support.

Recognizing a need for significant change, the Parents Community focused on the development of social responsibility for parents and their children, through educating and informing the parental community and the others, promoting parental and children's rights, and cooperating with the official institutions. With the full support of the media, the Community provides consultations by specialists regarding issues about conceiving and breastfeeding, worries about children's health, toddlers and psychology of teenagers, and many more.

Along with the website roditelji.me that provides relevant information, news, and forum discussions and regular parenting related interviews on morning TV program Boje Jutra on Vjesti channel, for last 7 years, the Parents Community has developed a significant range of activities and services such as smart playgrounds, classes for children's skills development, advisory meetings with specialists at the Parents Corner, support for children with disabilities and other special needs, support for single parents and families with emergency needs, charity actions and support for newborns and new moms at the hospitals.

It is surprising that at the beginning, according to the Community founder Kristina Mihajlović, half of its members were foreigners who until today remain an important part of it. Today, the Community has more than 450 members among which 25 are active members who participate in developing and organizing activities; the Community is supported by more than 100 volunteers such as teachers, doctors, psychologists, social workers and many others.

Last year brought new perspectives to the Community. After the successful organization of the first Festival of Parenting in May 2017 that united hundreds of parents, grandparents and their little ones in Podgorica Krusevac Park, a psychologist and new Community volunteer Ivana Vukšić suggested starting a new Parents Corner activity in the coastal region. Her idea was supported by the Tivat Marina & Village Porto Montenegro which provided a meeting room in its Yacht Club, and since last summer, parents in Boka bay can be advised and discuss their issues with local specialists.


“Nowadays we’re overloaded with tons of information about kids and parenting, sometimes even contradictory. Our elder generation adheres to old-fashion and often superstitious approaches, while popular media are abusing scientific conclusions trying to sell sponsored products instead of working with real facts. So, it is not easy to find the right decision or a proper solution, especially for new mums and dads. We aim to give parents a chance to receive true information directly from a certified specialist, to ask them questions that really bother them or listen to other parents who have same problems," says Ivana. Being the only volunteer in Tivat, Ivana is encouraging other parents in the coastal region to become active members of the Parents Community and together develop more initiatives in this part of the country. “The next step could be classes on small motor skills development which is of crucial importance for kids between 1-2 y.o.”

But probably the most important and vital initiative of the Parents Community undertaken last year with the support of the UNICEF fund was the opening of the hotline for families in Montenegro. The so-called “SOS parents line” provides a possibility of free and anonymous contact with advisors regarding principles of competent parenting, improving communication with a child or a crisis situations in the family. The hotline is available every day between 4 pm and 8 pm at 080 888 888.


In 2018 the Parents Community is planning to focus on the development of its network aiming to improve the level of the kids’ environment in the coastal region and the north of the country. In Tivat lately, the Parents Corner appeared in Niksic along with smart playground activities. The new fantastic idea of the Community (can’t help sharing your secret guys!) is an “On-wheels Kids Playground” which is an excellent solution for reaching parents and kids in remote cities. We hope to see it soon!

This is how the complex mission of changing the society, which seemed almost impossible to state institutions, turned very realistic for simple Montenegrin citizens with a high feeling of responsibility and a sincere wish for the best. Join the Parents Community at the next Festival of Parenting in Krusevac Park, Podgorica on 12 May and feel the wind of change.


Useful links:

SOS parents line 080 888 888








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