About a year ago, Shanthal, a young mother of two, knew she had hit a low point.
“I was stressed with anxiety,” she recalls, “Both my kids at school were misbehaving and I didn’t know what to do.”
So when the Department of Children and Families (DCF) came to her house, she asked for help. She was referred to a parent support program at KIDSAFE CT, an affiliate of The Village.
Parenting Support Services is a free program that helps parents enhance their relationship with their children and build confidence as a parent.
The program focuses on building “a variety of different skills that are meant to help the parent support the child’s development, but also manage those problem behaviors,” said Beth Dionne, program supervisor.
It also helps parents better understand the meaning behind their children’s behaviors, so that they can react and handle that behavior in an empathetic way.
“I did learn that I didn’t understand my kids. I didn’t understand their language, what they were trying to tell me,” said Shanthal. “It was just an eye opener that a lot of times when my kids were misbehaving that they were in need of something. I really started learning how to be more nurturing to my kids, which was really important to me.”
Shanthal successfully completed the program, and is grateful for the skills she learned.
“I was willing to change as a parent and learn,” she said. “It really did help me. I don’t know if I would have my kids today if I didn’t, to be honest.”