What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give.
P.D. James, Time to Be in Ernest
Dear Supporters of Parenting Now!,
Each year, with your help, Parenting Now! reaches out to hundreds of families in our community, including some of the most vulnerable new parents—teens.
Nearly 1,000 parents and children participate in our parenting education groups each year—families from all walks of life come through our doors. But today I’d like to turn the spotlight on our Program for Young Parents which serves new parents between the ages of 12 and 21.
These young parents, often homeless or couch surfing, face tough odds of being able to create a successful and satisfying life for themselves and their children without some support and guidance.
Because of donations from people like you, we are able to bring powerful outcomes to young parents and their babies who join our Program for Young Parents.
We serve approximately 30 teen families a year in this 34-week, group-based program. Nearly 60% of them are young moms raising a child without support of their baby’s father. 95% of these young parents come from abusive backgrounds, and all of them want to stop that cycle. They want a better life for their children than they experienced.
This program changes lives in a powerful way! Teens build resilience to thrive in the face of adversity and learn how to be nurturing parents. They gain the skills needed to create strong families and networks and learn to embrace educational, career, community and personal opportunities. Two generations are immediately affected and a new legacy is established for generations to come.
Here is a story of one young mom whose life is changed:
When she joined the program, Megan was a 17-year-old high school dropout with a 3-month-old baby boy. Megan had suffered years of child abuse from her mentally ill mother, which left her socially withdrawn and lacking friends and any form of social support. It was a long time before Megan could build trust in her parenting group and educator.
Megan thought babies should sleep all the time. She was frustrated and angry with the child’s crying and didn’t know what to do with him when he was awake. In her parenting group, Megan learned how to play and interact with her baby and how this develops attachment. She learned how to read her baby’s non-verbal cues and understand his crying patterns. Over the course of three years in the program she also learned when to use appropriate tools to prevent meltdowns—her child’s or her own.
Considering her own experience of being hit and yelled at as a child, Megan was surprised and happy to learn many new and positive options for teaching her child, rather than punishing her.
Megan’s parenting group strongly encouraged her to complete her education and consider going on to college. They even accompanied her to enroll in school. Though her family is not educated, Megan has completed her GED and is now in college, the first in her family to attend.
There is hope for Megan’s future and hope for her son. Through our program Megan learned how to be a better parent for her child. She now gives to her child what she never received: a nurturing, healthy development, and positive self-worth.
Won’t you please help us continue our important work to help new parents at a very vulnerable time in their lives? The Program for Young Parents is just one of an array of programs at Parenting Now! With your help all parents can build skills to create bright and promising futures for their children.
You can make a difference in the lives of children in our community right now with a donation to Parenting Now! I’m asking you to make a generous contribution today so that every child in our community is raised by nurturing, skilled parents.
Thank you very much for your support. Together we make a difference.
P.S. Your gift now will ensure that more families receive the opportunity to learn and grow healthy together. In this way children receive what they need now in order to later continue a positive family legacy.