To highlight what was important to parents with respect to consultation groups at well-child clinics.
Parents managing of their role as parents affect the child's health and are therefore an important priority for public health. Well-child clinics in Norway practise consultations in groups to support parents and to facilitate social network; however, few studies explore parents' perspective of this kind of groups.
We used classical grounded theory with a generative and constant comparative approach. Data were collected through seven focus groups and two individual interviews with the parents of children aged 8-15 months.
The parents were most concerned about how to achieve connection without accountability and how to obtain relevant health information. They managed this by 'multipositioning', encompassing the strategies of: (1) practising conditional openness, (2) seeking to belong, (3) awaiting initiative and (4) expecting balanced health information. The use of these strategies explains how they resolved their challenges.
Parental groups seem to be popular and have great potential to establish a social network; however, underestimating the need for structure and continuity in the groups might cause this opportunity to be missed.
Understanding parents' perspectives will be useful when planning strategies to strengthen parental groups at well-child clinics and that the engaged organisers will account for this need to ensure public health work of high quality and effectiveness for parents.