About Changes Parent Support Network
Changes Parent Support Network was incorporated in December 1996 and groups officially started meeting in January 1997. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and not affiliated with any other group or religious organization.
Members include: Couples, Single Parents, Step-Parents, Guardians, and Grandparents. Anyone who is parenting a child is welcome. Although some parents attend for help with their adult children, most have children between ages 13 and 22.
We attend Changes because our children are engaging in behaviors that are disrupting the home.
Every family is different and issues may differ from one home to another.
- In one home, a child may be just beginning to engage in risky behavior.
- In another family, the parents may have differing parenting styles and find themselves in crisis over how to parent the challenging behaviors of their teen or young adult.
Typical problem behaviors can be:
- Violent or abusive
- Oppositional and defiant
- Failing grades or not attending school
- Substance abuse
- Stealing at home or shoplifting
- Gang involvement
- Running away
COMPARING CHANGES TO OTHER SUPPORT GROUPS
There are many types of support groups in the Puget Sound area, each one offering different benefits. We list some support groups in our Resources section. No one group has all the answers and we encourage you to investigate all groups that can meet your needs. Sometimes a combination of support groups is the best answer.
WHAT MAKES CHANGES UNIQUE FROM OTHER SUPPORT GROUPS?
One common thread binds us together—we are all parenting a troubled youth. New attendees find they easily connect with other parents who are in a similar situation to their own.
Our groups encourage members to meet outside of weekly meetings and support each other in person or over the phone. Each week we call each other to check on how the week is going.
Meetings are structured to help us create both short-term and long-term goals.
- At meetings we form in groups of four to discuss the previous week.
- Each of us reports on the progress we have made toward our goal during the previous week.
- We provide support to each other by listening, asking questions and showing them empathy.
- We also use this small group to form our short-term goal for the upcoming week.
- Focusing on these goals provides manageable and reachable milestones for the parent.
Teams are an important element of the Changes program and a very powerful tool.
- After about six weeks, we pick four to six members to be on our team.
- In addition to our weekly meetings teams gather at a time and place that works for all team members.
- Team members support the parent/s who created the team.
- The team will thoroughly examine the family’s issues and help develop an action plan.
- Team participation benefits all those involved.