In Denver in 2015, Hand in Hand supported a free parenting class taught by Kristen Volk in partnership with the Children’s Center at Red Rocks Community College for low-income, new immigrant parents. After the 6-week course, the program director said:
“We have heard far more positive things about this class than any class we have ever offered.”
Parenting is difficult for many of us. The daily challenges of work and life, (and our own parents!) can make even simple interactions with our children a cause of additional stress. We may yell, act out, or shut out our precious children when we know what they (and we!) need is really to rekindle a warm and loving connection. When we are our best as parents, we remember how good and powerful a family can be, and we are filled with hope for our children’s future. A parent who recently immigrated to America put it this way:
“Hand in Hand entirely shifted my point of view regarding parenting and relationship. I grew up in Taiwan and no one in my childhood had ever taught me anything about the need for connection. Instead, there was a lot of spanking and isolation when I was not behaving according to the adult standards. I want to be a different kind of parent for my own children.
“I did not realize how much my life had changed until, a few months after the class, when my son saw that I was sad frustrated and said: ‘Mommy, I will listen to you. What is going on?’ He sat next to me and offered me a hug! In that moment I witnessed the power of listening. It was wonderful!”
The excitement is building for SVGives day. On May 3, we want to raise $15,000 to provide free Hand in Hand Parenting support and classes for those who cannot afford it. In 2015, with donations from parents in our community, our instructors were able to provide free Hand in Hand Parent Classes for homeless and low-income parents in Boston, West Oakland, Denver, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. We aim to replicate and expand the effort in 2016 by participating in SV Gives day on May 3.
Craig Appel is the Executive Director of Hand in Hand Parenting. If you would like to help bring resources to parents in communities of need, email Craig to learn how to get involved.