Boys Town North Florida recently partnered with a local organization, Brehon Family Services, to provide Common Sense Parenting classes to new and expecting mothers.
Brehon Family Services is an organization that provides a program called 'Brehon House,' which offers safe, transitional housing for pregnant women and mothers who are homeless. They also offer life-sustaining services such as childcare, medical services, and a stable, nurturing environment.
As Nicole Evans, a Parent Trainer for Common Sense Parenting, began her first class with the women, she empathized with their situations and understood how difficult it can be to internalize parenting classes.
She continued meeting with the women each week and over time they began engaging in class content and asking parenting questions. “It takes a while for any class to participate and to start feeling comfortable and trusting," said Nicole. “These particular girls and women are already dealing with stressful situations, and I understand if the last thing they want is to sit in parenting classes."
Initially, four participants were enrolled in the class, but five women completed the course by the end of the six weeks. Class participants thanked Nicole for helping them deal with their children's behavior, validating their frustrations and feelings, and providing participants with calm down techniques to utilize when needed. One of the participants even sent Nicole a text message to personally thank her and let her know how much she appreciated the class.
When asked about Nicole's experience teaching the course, she responded, “My biggest reward is knowing that I hopefully prevented a child from experiencing child abuse either physically or emotionally. Most of us don't choose to hurt our children on purpose, but mistakes happen because we don't know what else to do or how to handle the situation. I love showing parents a different way!"
Boys Town North Florida and Nicole are excited to continue the partnership with Brehon House to provide ongoing Common Sense Parenting classes.