Getting through difficult times can really take its toll on a family.

When you’re suffering yourself, it can be difficult to be there for your children when they need you most.

For Angela, Parentline were there to help her through it.

Lothian mum Angela explains: “I was in a pretty dark place at the time. I was very upset.

“I couldn’t really support my kids as well as I should with their issues. I didn’t know how to handle it.”

Angela searched for help online and found Parentline – a helping hand for families provided by Children 1st, Scotland’s national children’s charity.

Families say Parentline is a lifeline. It offers kind and skilled support and advice, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

When Angela explained her situation and how she was feeling, she took up Parentline’s offer of a weekly phone call with volunteer Caroline.

Angela added: “I looked forward to her phone calls. We would discuss what had happened over the past week and how I could have approached things better, or differently.

“She gave me some great advice.

“Caroline gave me confidence. She believed in me, which at the time was more than I did myself.”

Parentline’s team of volunteers are trained to a level recognised by Scotland’s professional body for counselling and psychotherapy. They have a real understanding of the stresses and challenges that all families face, and the impact this has on children.

Parentline is never about telling people what to do. It gives parents the time, space and confidence to think through tough decisions and to make things better for their child.

Volunteer Nicky says: “Parenting, and caring for a child, is very difficult and nobody tells you how to do it.

“Everybody needs a bit of help every now and then.”

Angela agrees: “Having Parentline was just invaluable. And certainly, my kids now have seen a difference. And they know that I’m going to be there for them, regardless.

“I realise that I don’t have to be perfect to make my kids happy. But at least I’m in a better place to be able to support them. And that makes all the difference.”

Every parent needs a helping hand sometimes - in moments of crisis, to everyday challenges.

For free information, advice and support, visit: children1st.org.uk/parentline