Alfredo A Family Story
"My name is Alfredo A and when I first met my Parent Partner, my son Pedro had just started experimenting with drugs.
At that time, my wife of seventeen years had left us to go back to Honduras without giving us a reason for leaving. I was left with three teenage children, Lucy,16, Carol,14, and Pedro, 12.
Pedro seemed to take his mother's leaving the hardest. He became introverted and kept to himself. He started hanging out with some rough kids from our neighborhood and staying away from home. He stole some sleeping pills and drugged himself to the point he could not even walk. I was scared and didn't know what to do. I was losing him to the streets!
We have very modest means and he would always demand more money to keep up with the kids who run in gangs. I began to feel like a failure as a parent. I had no idea how to communicate with my children. All my life I had always provided for my family financially but had almost no say in the day-to-day parenting--- that had always been my wife's job. My Parent Partner taught me communication skills that I could use with my children. She helped me get Junior into counseling and to work on my relationship with him by listening to him and by giving him my time. We started having family meetings once a week where all the members of the family could express what was going on in their lives and what was bothering them. My Parent Partner helped me believe that a good father is not only defined by what you can provide financially, but by the time you give and the relationship you develop with your children."
Jamie S. Family Story
"When my Parent Partner came into my life, I was really struggling. My fiancé, Robert, had just passed away from cancer after a long illness. My 5 year old son, Tony was struggling too. Losing Robert, the only father he had known, affected him tremendously. He was angry and hurting other kids at school. He talked back to his teacher and cried constantly. He was demanding and sullen. When I heard about the Family Partnership Center, I called out of desperation, not knowing if they truly would be able to help at all. From the time my Parent Partner came into my home, I felt that she really cared about us as a family. She encouraged me and validated my skills as a mother. She gave me information about how to set boundaries, how to implement rules and how to use routines. She showed me how to help Tony deal with his anger and encouraged me to seek counseling for him. As time went on, Tony and I began to do better and things began to slowly improve.
But Tony and I were in for more heartbreak. A man I had been dating for about three months who had become a wonderful friend and a sounding board to all the new ideas and skills I was learning, was involved in a fatal automobile accident.At that point in my life, I was in shock and so very alone. I became depressed and isolated. I could no longer face the world. I even tried to avoid my Parent Partner, but thankfully, she kept calling and showing up! I lost my job and had to find a new apartment. I felt like an awful mother. I seemed incapable of meeting anything but Tony's basic needs. Yet my Parent Partner continued to offer me support. She gave me information on how to deal with our grief. She encouraged me to seek counseling. She taught me how to encourage my son by focusing on his positive behaviors and how to just have fun with him. Today, I have the strength to put one foot in front of another. I still see my Parent Partner twice a month. I work part- time and attend MCC. I have enrolled Tony in Tai Kwan Do classes after school and he is getting involved with the Boy Scouts. Now, Tony is doing well in school and with his friends. My relationship with him has really improved and I feel closer to him than ever. We communicate well. The skills I have learned from my Parent Partner and the love and support she gives me have made all the difference in the world to my family. I don't think we could have survived without her!"