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Voices of Families First


Parents Say...

“Thank you—really, just thank you for providing these groups.”
                                  Parent at Bethany Hill School, Framingham


“What a wonderful, informative workshop. I have learned that I need to slow down and really listen.”
                                                          Parent, The Second Step


“It begins with me…understanding where my anger comes from first and how my reactions affect my kids.”
                Parent, Greater Boston Early Childhood Resource Center


“I learned to involve my child in suggesting solutions.”
                Parent, Greater Boston Early Childhood Resource Center


“I feel in control more than before.”
                                                          Parent, The Second Step


“Listen to your child and let them finish before you talk. Acknowledge their feelings.”
                                                    Parent, Malden Public Schools


"I learned that I am important, I am valuable, and I deserve to nurture myself.”
                                                 Parent, Granada House, Boston


“Human values are taught and learned; you are not born with them.”
                                          Parent, Schwartz Center, Dartmouth


“I learned the importance of a Mission Statement: What is my family, or what would I like my family to be about?”
                                          Parent, Schwartz Center, Dartmouth


“I am growing. I am learning how to be a Mom.”
                                                 Parent, Granada House, Boston
 




Parenting Stories

Luz and Mirabel

Luz is a recent immigrant from the Dominican Republic. She is learning English, but until she attended a Families First School Success workshop series—facilitated in Spanish—at her daughter Mirabel’s school, she didn’t feel like she had the skills to support Mirabel’s learning through helping with her homework. After the session on Homework Battles, Luz decided to hold a meeting with Mirabel to establish some basic routines around homework. They designated a special area for doing homework, equipped with pencils and other materials, and they made the rule that homework had to be done first, before play or screen time.
At the next session, Luz told the group that she was already having fewer battles with Mirabel over homework. She also felt more confident after the workshop series because she came to understand that she didn’t need to be fluent in English to support Mirabel at school—as the parent, she has the ability to set expectations and create a home climate that will help her daughter do her homework well at home.

Javier and Yaritza

Javier and his mother, Yaritza, have struggled to find a housing placement. They have been living at a Dorchester family shelter since last year’s Families First workshop series—a whole year. Yaritza, who is an English-language learner, was grateful that the series was being facilitated in both Spanish and English because she had a burning question, which she raised during the session on “Positive Approaches to Discipline”: Why was Javier acting out frequently in the common areas of the shelter? It happened, said Yaritza, any time she had to speak to him about his behavior.

Yaritza learned that, just like adults, children have different personalities and that parents’ discipline strategies should take these into account. For Javier, being disciplined in front of others was like public shaming, and he rebelled against it. Yaritza began taking Javier out of the room to speak to him about his behavior. With this adjustment, Javier was able to accept his mother’s corrections more readily, and his behavior improved significantly.

For families in shelters, issues of privacy and respect for children’s differences become especially important. Families First’s workshops can help parents make small adjustments like this one that make shelter life more tolerable for themselves and their children. The same knowledge and skills will continue to serve them once they have made the transition to permanent housing.

Salem Mother at parenting workshop

Voices of Families First
Voices of Families First