'I look like a drill sargeant!'

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By : LAURA MILLIKEN

Spark NH

The following is a true story of a NH mom, Honey.

Honey found many interactions with her children to be overwhelming.   Honey's home visitor suggested she might benefit from the opportunity Stephanie provided and Honey hoped it would help her to get her children's behavior under control.    With Honey's permission, Stephanie showed us the videos. Honey had asked Stephanie to videotape the time her children returned from school, which felt especially difficult to her.  In the first video, Honey's house was very dark.  The children returned home and Honey immediately pointed her finger and admonished them to hang up their coats, not to leave their shoes around and interrogated her daughter about where she'd lost her mittens.  In the same video, Honey is shown playing a game with her daughter.  She was frustrated and distracted, often looking at her phone.  When Stephanie showed her the video, Honey was distressed.  She said, "I look like a drill sergeant!" and, "I saw the video and I saw my mother."  She said that she realized that it was not her children's behavior that needed to change, but hers.

Stephanie and Honey's home visitor helped Honey to think about how to enjoy her children more.  Honey was highly motivated and the home visitor helped her over a number of visits. The second video Stephanie showed us was filmed several months after the first video.  The difference was dramatic.  In the video, Honey's house was bright, shades open.  Honey and one of her daughters were playing a game.  They both were giggling, making eye contact and thoroughly enjoying each other's company. 

I was struck by how much difference this kind of family support can make.   I wish every parent had access to helpful feedback and encouragement to help them find joy in their children.   

Abstract

Honey found many interactions with her children to be overwhelming.   Honey's home visitor suggested she might benefit from the opportunity Stephanie provided and Honey hoped it would help her to get her children's behavior under control.    With Honey's permission, Stephanie showed us the videos. Honey had asked Stephanie to videotape the time her children returned from school, which felt especially difficult to her.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

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When I grow up...

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By CHRISTINA MANTER

[email protected]

All throughout my life I have wanted to help people in some way. I have dreamt of owning my own business - maybe opening a daycare, a coffee shop for at risk teens, a half-way house. I've even seriously considered adopting all the unwanted kids in the world. Big dreams, I know.

I'm always asked the age-old question, “what do you want to be when you grow up." Well, I’m now 32-years-old and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. But, I do know I want to help others.

I began my college career studying Psychology. I love studying people, how they work, who they are, and what experiences make a person who they are. I am currently a full time student at Southern NH University, working on my second BA in Psychology, this time concentrating in mental health. My first BA is in Psychology/Christian Counseling, however from a non-accredited college. When I found out the college was non-accredited, my schooling was entirely paid off and so I finished anyways. But, I still didn't know if I wanted to be a full-time counselor or continue working administratively for a company. And, my inner voice continued whispering, “What do I want to be when I grow up”?

The question still remains, what do I want to do when I grow up? How can I take the desire to help others and put it into a job? I worked for a Crisis Line for a few years and quickly burnt out. I love to work with people and help them; however I soon realized I can’t rescue all of them. This was hard to fathom, because in my heart I wanted to do just that - Rescue. So, I set out to find another way, but how?

In July of 2013 I was hired by NH Children’s Trust. I finally landed a position in the nonprofit, community-service field I was trying to break into for years. In the past 6 months, I have grown tremendously; learning the ins and outs of a nonprofit organization and by spreading our mission throughout the state of NH. People need to be educated about human nature, how to prevent adverse childhood experiences from happening and how to heal from past challenges. 

My questions again are, ”What do I want to be when I grow up? What do I want to do?”

I want to educate and advocate. I love my job and I love to talk about it. Our mission is one needing to be heard by professionals and families to invite people to be a part of it, and to promote the strategies to prevent child abuse. I want to learn, talk and teach. I want to be out in the world educating people where I can and however I can. I want to teach others how we can prevent child abuse and even end it after it has begun. I want to protect those kids in my community and help them to have a better future.

Since I was a little girl, I have been passionate about helping children. When I think of my job and my future fulfilling what I really want to do, this time, it’s what I’m already doing…

I want to be the person who people listen to, learn from, and go forth to protect those they work directly with. I want to be the voice of those who don’t yet have one. I want to get into the community, learn from them, and then take the knowledge to teach and protect.

Abstract

All throughout my life I have wanted to help people in some way. I have dreamt of owning my own business - maybe opening a daycare, a coffee shop for at risk teens, a half-way house. I've even seriously considered adopting all the unwanted kids in the world. Big dreams, I know.

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Article

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Friday, January 24, 2014

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