Parenting

All parents face confusion and stress raising children. When parents or children face significant challenges like poverty, mental health issues, addiction, family violence, foster care placement, or histories of trauma, it can be even harder to know how to build a safe and loving family life. Stories here explore how parents have overcome challenges to build strong families.

Being There for Baby—and Yourself: A new report focuses on supporting teen parents in foster care as parents and people.

Recently I had a chance to read the report “Expectant & Parenting Youth in Foster Care: Addressing their developmental needs to promote healthy parent and child outcomes” by Charlyn Harper Browne at the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

I became a mother while I was in foster care, and I found the report inspiring, relatable and informative. The report says that parents in the system and their children do best if the parents … Read More

From Enemy to Ally: Because my caseworker accepted me, I was able to believe in myself.

From ages 8 through 18, I was a foster child. I was in so many homes that I can’t remember them all. Some of my foster parents abused their authority. I didn’t know if my real parents loved me. I felt like everyone was against me.

I was 17 and at the hospital for a suicide attempt (my last) when I found out I was pregnant. I felt overwhelmed and so ashamed. … Read More

Awakening to Magic – In addition to services, times of joy, connection and wonder keep me going.

Magic really does exist. Magic is when you hear music that makes you laugh or cry; you feel it deep within your soul. Magic is also when you read a book that makes you feel like you can go anywhere and do anything while you stay safe and secure.

Magic is how you view the world. It’s walking in a garden and observing the beautiful flowers and magnificent trees, and seeing how soft and alive the … Read More

‘One Child Felt Like One Thousand’ – Better communication helped my son and me handle his ADHD.

What is ADHD? A few years ago I had no idea what that stood for (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) and had never heard of it. But I found out I had a beautiful little boy dealing with it.

Some days Alex was fine, what you might call a normal boy. Most days were hectic. One child felt like one thousand. He was all over the place, starting one thing and never finishing, just jumping to … Read More

Breaking the Chain – Building a calm, safe home for my son.

Translated from Spanish.

When my son Dylan was 2, his father and I separated. I had to confront the reality that we weren’t coming together as parents, but instead were arguing and screaming at each other. At times he would even shove me or grab me by the arm.

It was very hard to make a decision to leave. I knew it would be sad for Dylan not to live with his father. But I also didn’t … Read More