This is Parents' Week (20-26 October). Many parents feel the pressure of trying to be a perfect mother or father when bringing up young children.
It's important that parents recognise when they need a bit of extra support and know how to ask for it.
That's why I am appealing to your readers to support Home-Start's Real Parents campaign, which is encouraging parents to share their own experiences by offering support and advice to other parents who are finding it hard to cope.
Home-Start supports parents by matching them with a home visiting volunteer,who can deal with issues such as post-natal depression, multiple births and disability.
If you've got through the highs and lows of parenthood, your own experience could be invaluable as a home-visiting volunteer for struggling parents - acting as a family friend by giving emotional and practical support. You're bound to have valuable tips and advice to give.
When I first became a mother,I made sure I took the best care of myself,as well as the children. Home-Start volunteers help parents do just that.
You could make a difference to a child's life - and your own community - today.
To find out more about the Real Parents campaign, and how to become a Home-Start volunteer, visit www.realparents.org.uk or call 0800 068 63 68.
DR MIRIAM STOPPARD,
Great Titchfield Street, London.