Small Changes, Big Results
Dec 02, 2016 -
Clarita came to us feeling very stressed. “I was thinking bills, bills, bills, do this, do that,” she shared. “I was always on edge. On top of that, both of my girls were struggling in school and I didn’t know how to help them.”
Clarita felt she was copying bad habits from her own upbringing, stating, “I had trouble connecting with my kids. What will happen when they become teenagers? In my community, we don’t always believe in therapy, but it was time to try something different.” So she called PCHAS and visited with our Family Solutions for Kids (FSK) Program specialist.
Tiffany, a case worker, went to the family’s apartment regularly
. During her weekly counseling sessions with Clarita, Tiffany suggested the mother adopt some small changes. The first was as simple as asking questions: What happened in school? What did you do at recess? Is anything bothering you today?
A second strategy was remembering to say something positive to each child. Clarita explains: “Now I praise them for doing the right thing. I tell them I’m proud of them. And I don’t assume they know I love them—I tell them. That’s made a huge difference in our relationship.”
Tiffany’s third strategy for Clarita was for her to set aside a little leisure time with her children. Together, they played board games, drew pictures and took walks. As weeks passed, these small changes led to big transformations.
“We used to argue a lot,” Clarita admits. “But when I started giving my girls more attention, instead of just telling them what to do, they listened to me. They showed more respect. Tiffany taught me that good parenting was more than managing the bills and chores. It includes managing the stress and tending to the relationships, too.”
Tiffany met with the family twice a week and sometimes more. She also checked on the children in their classrooms and helped obtain school services for them. After four months in the PCHAS’ Family Solutions for Kids program, the family was stronger and happier.