Young parent Janell will never forget the feeling she had after Beech Acres helped her reunify with her 5-year-old daughter after a court-ordered separation.

“I felt so light,” she said. “I was happy and rejoicing. All the burning of being apart went away and I embraced my baby. She was so happy, too – she hugged me and said, ‘Mommy, you did it!’ We held each other for a long time.

“I was fighting for my baby and all I needed was a hand and some guidance.”

Beech Acres gave that to her, and Janelle was truly grateful.

Learning Parenting Skills

Janell rejoined with her daughter after engaging with the Parent Enrichment Program at Beech Acres. This program is part of the umbrella of services offered through With All Families, which reflects the Beech Acres focus to extend support to all families regardless of how they are put together.

Through one-on-one coaching with a specialist, she learned some important parenting skills and ideas that she now uses in her family.

Here are just five examples of what she took away from the coaching:

  • Reaching out for parenting help is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Patience is one of the great parenting strengths that can help you through difficult moments.
  • Breaking cycles of trauma can bring better parenting outcomes. While parents can’t control anything outside of their own family circles, they can control their own emotional reactions to stress without disrupting relationships with children.
  • Parents should not feel guilty about spending less time with the family because of things they can’t control – just the situation Janelle was in.
  • While communication with her daughter is important, communicating well with other adults about her daughter is also very important, even when those conversations are difficult.

After all these discussions, Janell came away with new life skills that led to reunification with her child. The experience made her life better and led to that joyful embrace between mother and daughter.

Helping to Make Her Way with Dignity

It wasn’t just the coaching that helped her. Janell is grateful for the way in which her Beech Acres specialist shared the guidance with her.

“Beech Acres is like that big sister who knows everything and guides you without telling you what to do,” she said. “They allow you to follow the path you make, but they guide you along the way.”

“If I’m on a path and they see me going down a way that looks dangerous, Beech Acres tells me, ‘Hey sis, you’re going the wrong way, come this way!’ If you show me the tool I need in my life to make sure I don’t make mistakes, I do a better job making my way. And they give this tool to you in a way you can understand while keeping your dignity.”

Janell says the help she received from Beech Acres impacted not only her parenting, but how she interacts with adults about her daughter and other social skills, too.

“Now I treat every moment like it’s a super moment, because we never know how much time we have together. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to enjoy her and embrace her. Now it’s just intensified. There are no words to explain how happy I am to have her united with me.”