“Fear controlled me and kept me from holding my son accountable for his actions. With the support of CHANGES, I can face my fears and recognize what I can and cannot control.”
                                                                 ~ mother of 15 year-old son

Our Parent Stories

“I was a basket case when we joined CHANGES. Our son was using drugs, drug dealing and failing school. The group helped me by confronting me about the ways in which I was enabling our son to continue his destructive behavior and they suggested changes I needed to make.”                                    ~ father of 15 year-old son

“I tried everything I could think of on my own, but nothing worked… Joining CHANGES and seeking solutions with other parents has been very successful.”                                    ~ father of 15 year-old daughter

We never planned to live our lives this way. And no one else understands how we ever got to this point. We don’t even understand it. We just know we are there. And it’s finally time to make a change–for everyone’s benefit.”                                 ~ mother of 23 year-old son



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“Before I joined a CHANGES parent support group:

  • I would wake up many times in the middle of the night with stomachaches and tears.
  • I felt guilty that I had a child who did not know how to behave; who was bad.
  • I was shocked that my son would put holes in the walls of our home and was mortified that he would commit crimes.
  • I was ashamed that my family, my son, was a client of state Family Services.
  • I was afraid my son would die out on the streets. I was even more terrified that he would kill someone.
  • I hated to be one of the parents in the waiting room at juvenile court. No one I knew was there. Or perhaps because I knew no one there.

Since I joined a CHANGES parent support group:

  • I know that I was, and am, a good and caring parent.
  • I feel good every time that I help another family in crisis, knowing that I may have made the world a little better place that day.
  • I smile when my son, who brought me to CHANGES, and my daughter who abhors “groups”, both have said the group has been good for our family.
  • I am grateful for support parents being there whenever I need them. They were there the night my son was stabbed and had to have abdominal surgery. Even though it was midnight and they had just gotten home from another support meeting, they came to the emergency room to be with me, no questions asked.
  • I am working at accepting that while my son is not working or going to school, he is no longer doing terrible things.
  • I can deal with this.”                                                             ~ mother of 15 year-old son

“At the age of 15, our daughter began running away from home to be with friends who were also acting out. Over the next two years she extended her runs to months at a time, failed to attend school, and became involved with violent street kids to her own endangerment. Even when she was at home, she was very disrespectful and disruptive of the family. For some time, we tried our best to deal with the problem in ways we knew about under the assumption that we could handle the situation ourselves. But the truth was that we needed help because nothing we had been trying was working.

Once we joined a CHANGES group to obtain assistance, we still harbored the assumption that we could simply adopt some of its ideas and go on our way. But the truth was we needed more help than that, and in ways we did not realize. To our amazement, we soon found that other parents in the group perceived that we, not our daughter, should be the first ones to make adjustments. They encouraged us to re-evaluate our assumptions and goals as parents, and only after that process did they help us make a plan to deal with our daughter’s behavior–a plan that included other parents meeting with her on a frequent basis to assess her progress in meeting court and group objectives. In this way, the parents served as a buffer between her and us to avoid breakdowns in the plan. This approach ultimately worked very effectively to bring her home to stay under a new set of understandings.

In sum, the experience we had is a good example of what parents can achieve working together, committed to certain common sense principles and supporting one another.”                                                                                                  ~ mother and father of 15 year-old daughter