The Story of Oscar: How Implementing Evidence-Based Skills Can Transform a Family

Are you frustrated with your child’s repeated disobedience? Has yelling at your kids become more common than you wish to admit?

Veronica is Oscar’s mom. Oscar is seven years old and was struggling with troubled behaviors at home and school, including not following directions or controlling his emotions. Despite only being in second grade, Oscar’s misbehaviors had led his teachers to contact Veronica several times and they even suggested that Oscar move to a different school that would be better suited for his behavioral outbursts. They also recommended that Oscar’s family seek help from Boys Town.

Oscar’s mother opted to reach out to Boys Town South Florida. After our admission specialist evaluated their situation, it was determined the In-Home Family Services program, designed to equip parents with the necessary tools, resources and strategies to support their children, would be the most beneficial for Veronica and her family.

Boys Town Family Consultant Claudia provided weekly home visits to Oscar’s home and shared essential skills and resources with the family, including Oscar’s stepfather. A significant element that was vital for the family to turn around was Veronica’s relationship with her husband, which was taking a toll due to Oscar’s ongoing misbehavior. Throughout the program, Veronica was able to improve her ability to communicate with her husband and encourage him to support her in this new parenting approach.

 As a result, Veronica felt more confident in herself and in her marriage, improving the whole family dynamic. She is now able to identify the importance and purpose of observing Oscar’s behavior as a tool to praise her son when she sees him doing well and to correct his behavior when he needs to improve. Veronica also has improved at keeping herself calm in addressing misbehaviors and giving the proper consequence or reward.

Over time, Oscar was able to improve his choices, such as following directions and having better self-control. In addition, the Family Consultant shared with Oscar’s mom the importance of setting healthy routines, especially for homework time, which was usually a big issue since Oscar was incredibly against doing homework.

Together, Oscar’s mom and the Family Consultant redecorated a table to make it Oscar’s workstation at home and added his name to it, which helped the young boy feel ownership. Having a special place just for him, where his mom offered snack breaks between homework assignments, helped Oscar feel supported. He started to look forward to going home after school, and he rarely left homework undone.

Before finishing the program, Veronica enrolled in training through a university’s parenting program for children with ADHD. She also wanted to support her children’s academic progress further, so she registered for online classes to learn English through the Rosetta Stone program with her local library. The family will continue to flourish with the help of the tools and resources they’ve received to build a healthy and positive environment for their children to grow.

In-Home Family Services help families create stronger, healthier, and happier relationships with their children. Empowering parents to address children's misbehavior in a positive way sets the entire family up for success. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to our funders: Communities Connected for Kids, Children's Services Council of Martin County and Children's Services Council of Broward County, for enabling our work to continue.