On Tuesday, April 7th, USES hosted a graduation for fourteen parents who completed the Power of Parenting program, an initiative designed and facilitated by the organization Families First. The event kicked off at 5:30pm with a delicious meal where participating families and staff from USES and Families First could connect and hear some parents’ reflections on this impactful program. Both executive directors of USES and Families First, Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle and Sue Covitz, addressed the group and emphasized the importance of this partnership and program, which have provided parents with a comfortable and judgement-free space to share challenges, obtain valuable resources specific to their child’s needs, and strengthen their networks of support.
Over the past 12 weeks, parents have attended weekly classes and discussed topics such as raising a resilient child, understanding media and the child’s brain, and creating love and limits. The program allowed new parents to connect and learn from each other’s parenting styles, as well as find comfort in their shared challenges and experiences. Of the graduating class, there were two couples who attended together, a number of parents born in other countries, and two sisters who took on Parent Leader roles. During the ceremony, parents were asked how other parents have supported their parenting and one member shared, “by giving me the opportunity to bounce ideas off them and give me confidence that I am doing a great job”. It was clear in their responses that this cohort of parents created new and valuable relationships with each other and their children that they can draw upon in the future.