A Mom From Bay State                                                    November 2012



English - Wednesday Mornings

Spanish - Monday Mornings




PSL: Overnight volunteers needed for the Stress Line

PSG: Childcare needed in Roxbury and New Bedford


A Mother in Crisis

One of the ways that Parents Helping parents pursues its child abuse prevention mission is through the provision of the Parental Stress Line – toll-free confidential helpline for parents who need to discuss issues related to their children.  Trained volunteer counselors answer the parental Stress Line and offer support, empathy, encouragement, information, referrals, and crisis intervention.  We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Counselors use a strengths-based approach in assisting callers, provide support that draws on callers’ inner strength and offer information and referrals to community resources.

For example, recently, the mother of a 17-year-old daughter called.  She was extremely distraught over her daughter’s stealing shoes from a store.  And that was only the tip of the iceberg!  This child was not coming home at night, was skipping school, smoking pot, and having alcohol in the house.  The daughter was defiant towards her mother and the two had been fighting frequently over her behavior.  The father, an alcoholic himself, was not much help, and the mother had no other family supports – in short, she was desperate for a non-judgemental listening ear and someone to help problem-solve with her.  During the call, this mother expressed concern that her daughter had Bipolar Disorder, something that was prevalent in the family.  She also explained that the specific reason for her call was to get guidance as to whether or not she should ground her daughter for stealing or propose an alternative idea-the daughter could choose to attend church rather than being grounded.

The trained counselor responded to the caller by offering reflective listening.  Our counselor spent time reflecting the mother’s feelings back to her and validated her feelings of frustration and anger over her daughter’s behavior.  The counselor also provided plentiful positive regard for the abundant amount of time and effort the mother had put into raising her daughter under difficult circumstances.  Together they explored a variety of options, including the possibility of family and counseling support.  After discussing alternative solutions the mother decided that she would ground her daughter and if her daughter went out anyway she would resort to sending her child to church instead.  The mother also decided to speak with the doctor about hereditary Bipolar Disease to see if it may be a factor in her own child’s behavior.  The counselor explained that the mother could call any time, including the evening if she needed more help with the situation.  The counselor also shared information regarding Parent Support Groups.  After talking, the mother felt much calmer.  “A weight has been lifted off my chest.” She said.

Often times when parents call the help line they already know what they want to do but they just need some help figuring this out.  Parents Helping Parents seeks to empower parents by enabling them to reach conclusions on their own.  By doing this parent feel stronger and more capable and are better equipped to raise their children.

A Volunteer Remembered - Lucia Pino-Freifeld

In this issue we remember Lucia Pino-Freield, former Parental Stress Line volunteer, Parents Support Group Facilitator, Volunteer Translator, and briefly Parents Helping Parents Employee.  She passed away on September 13, 2012 at the age of 43 after fighting melanoma for 6 1/2 years, leaving her husband Geremy and her son Roc.  Lucia joined the Parental Stress Line in 2004 as a Parental Stress Line Volunteer.  She consistently volunteered one or two shifts for two years and attended outreach workshops where participants were Spanish-speaking.

Lucia began an in-house Parent Support Group in 2005 at Casa Myrna Vasquez.  She briefly worked for Parents Helping Parents in the spring of 2006 before her recurrence of Melanoma.  During her six and a half years fighting cancer, Lucia continued to translate or check the Spanish for many important Parents Helping Parents documents.  Lucia gave countless hours to parents in need, and was devastated to learn from doctors that her cancer treatments had left her sterile and unable to conceive or become a parent herself.  Miraculously, Lucia later conceived a boy and became a mother in 2009.

We remember Lucia's dedication to our model and striving to improve her technique to really help callers.  She showed a passion and commitment for conveying the true meaning of our work to Spanish-speakers, not compromising on perfect translation.  She had a very positive spirit and even in the midst of her own hardship had an uncanny ability to support others and focus on strengths.  She will be missed.



Meet Our Interns

Laylin Chong
Laylin Chong is a social work graduate student at Wheelock College.  She is from Ecuador and moved here when she was 8 years old.  She is fluent in Spanish and can speak a little bit of Cantonese and Mandarin.  Laylin looks forward to all the enriching experiences she will get from the Stress Line and Groups at Parents Helping Parents.

Edie Hutchins
Edie was adopted from New Delhi, India.  She graduated from UMass Boston with Bachelor's in Sociology and continued her education at Wheelock College where she is now in her last year of the Master's of Social Work program.  She was raised in a household that greatly encouraged kindness, social justice, and equal rights for all people as values to uphold and promote.  Edie is excited about her future as a social worker and looking forward to continuing her quest to make the world a better place.

Our mailing address is:
Parents Helping Parents
108 Water Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 617-926-5008