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Kim's Story                                                                           August 2011
In This Issue

Kim's Story

 
 

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Dear Friend,
 
During the summer there were several stories in the Boston papers about parents hitting their children in public.  You can read about one of them in the Metro Paper and you can read a letter we wrote to the Boston Globe.  These stories reminded us of a recent call to the Parental Stress Line by a parent struggling - in this case successfully - to control her impulses.  Please read about the "Call from Kim" below.
 
Happy holidays.
 

 
Randall Block
Executive Director

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Group Announcements:
 
Fall River group has reopened and meets on Mondays from 10 am to 11:30 am at Arbour Counseling, 10 N. Main Street, 2nd floor.

Woburn group begins meeting on Thursday, September 15 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

Call 1-800-632-8188 x2 for location and child care information for these groups and all others.

For a full listing of Parent Support Groups, click here.

 
A Call from Kim

A parent (we’ll call her Kim) recently called the Parental Stress Line.  The volunteer asked how we could help and Kim, in a steely voice, said “Is it ok if I lock my three year old in a room?”
 
The surprised volunteer blurted out, “Alone? Do you want to lock him in by himself?”  “Yes”, Kim answered.  “By himself.  I’m sick of him and I can’t stand another minute being around him.”
 
In a calm voice our volunteer asked what had happened. Kim explained that she was a stay at home mom with 3 young children, one of whom was developmentally delayed. She was trying to make dinner and her 3 year old would not leave her alone. Kim told the volunteer that she devoted every minute of her day taking care of her children and she couldn’t do it any more.  At least not today.
 
The volunteer asked Kim where her son was at the moment to make sure he was safe. Kim replied that he was with his siblings in the next room and still making lots of noise. All Kim wanted was a few minutes of uninterrupted silence.
 
The volunteer commended Kim for calling the Stress Line before taking any rash action. It was clear from Kim’s story that she never took time out for herself, so the volunteer asked if she had any family or close friends nearby. Kim’s husband was home and her in-laws lived near by. She stated that her in-laws only offered to watch the children once a month and her husband had just gotten home from work and was resting.
The call had reached a pivotal point.  The immediate solution to Kim’s dilemma was obvious to the Stress Line volunteer – dad needed to help.  But Kim needed to figure this out on her own or it probably wouldn’t happen. 
 
“How does your husband play with the children?  Does he enjoy it?” our volunteer asked.  After a few minutes of talking about how much her husband doted on their children, Kim said “He’s been home 20 minutes, maybe he could watch the kids in the living room.”  “A great idea” our volunteer responded.  I don’t want to hold you up from preparing dinner, but what about tomorrow and the next day?” 
 
Kim was silent for a moment and said that maybe she could ask her in-laws if they could watch the kids a few more times each month so that she and her husband could have some stress free alone time.   And maybe her husband could plan on watching the kids when he got home.  Even just a little help would make a big difference.
 
Kim told the volunteer that she appreciated having someone to talk to and that she felt much better now that she had a plan of action. The volunteer told Kim that being a parent isn’t an easy job and to remember to make time for herself.  “It’s not selfish to take care of yourself.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take of your children.” Kim said she would keep the Stress Line number on hand in case she ever felt like she was reaching her breaking point.


Our mailing address is:
Parents Helping Parents
108 Water Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 617-926-5008
Website: http://www.parentshelpingparents.org