Helping Parents Help Each Other

One (very long) day at a time.

Over the past few weeks, it’s become clear we’re going to be here for awhile. I think we all knew it, but as we approach a new school year (minus the going back to school) we’ve had to face it.

That reality has prompted an overwhelming demand for support. Parents are taking action and finding ways to create pods for learning and socialization as well as shared care to get through the work day.

To help this mission, we’re launching Pods and Extra Hands — two new categories of signals that help parents get support from the community whenever they need it.


“Homeschool pods” or “micro-schools” are small groupings of families (usually no more than 5 kids) that have kids the same age and a similar COVID risk tolerance who agree to teach and care for their children as a group outside of a formal school setting.

Sometimes it’s the parents taking turns guiding the kids in a homeschool or distance learning curriculum, and in other cases a teacher or tutor is hired for several hours a day.

For help finding or creating a pod using The Troop, simply choose “Pod” from the list of signal categories. Enter your address to find families near you, the date the pod should start and the approximate times you’re hoping for daily. Then, choose the ages of your kids and enter any additional details in the description (information about COVID risk behavior, whether you’re looking for families to join an existing pod etc).

This will show up as a yellow dot on the map (different from other meet-ups which are green) for other parents in The Troop to see and respond to if there’s a match.

We’ve also added a field to profiles to add the school or daycare that your children attend. This allows parents to search by school and find families from that school to add to their “pods.”

Extra Hands

While a scheduled pod is great, there are a lot of moments these days where you just have a meeting pop up and could use help with the kids for an hour or two. That’s what Extra Hands is for.

When you need a pair of Extra Hands to get something done or because you’ve been called away somewhere, just choose “Extra Hands” from the list of categories and enter the date and time. Send the signal to connections you know and trust (within your “bubble”) and they’ll get an alert. Whoever is able to help out can check-in and message you to figure out details (Will you come to them? Will they come pick them up? Or stay at your house?)

The goal is to make it easier to ask for help when we need it. To encourage parents to help each other out in a bind and to return the favor later.

Because we all need some goodwill right now.

As the parenting in a pandemic situation continues to evolve, we’ll continue to try to adapt The Troop to be as helpful possible.

Please send ideas, feedback and suggestions to

The Troop® is available for download on Android and iOS

Email to request an invite code.

Instagram @followthetroop




Founder of The Troop — a private local network for parents that makes it easier to meet-up and play with the kids. Because parenting is easier with company.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

You. Me. We. Eternity.

Settle in, this is a boomer.

This Ontario mom is sparing our landfills—one dress at a time

Reclaiming My Sexuality After Motherhood

Ability to handle failure-A Skill Every Boy Needs.

Confessions Of A “Home Schooling”, “Christian” Mom…

How Stereotyping Your Teen Can Be Damaging

Feeling the loss of a child, one year later

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Chelsey Susin Kantor

Chelsey Susin Kantor

Founder of The Troop — a private local network for parents that makes it easier to meet-up and play with the kids. Because parenting is easier with company.

More from Medium

CS3240 Individual Design Exercise

Feeling burnt out? 5 tips to deep clean your social media feeds and curate positivity

What Do You Call Yourself If You Hate the Word “Blogger”

Make your personal trend.