Guest Post by
A Parent Who Requested to Be Anonymous
My name is Cassie, I'm a single working mother with two kids. While getting out of an abusive relationship, my only support system was my mother and caseworker through that difficult time. To be frank, my life was falling apart. I felt like a terrible parent to my own children, and I couldn't bear to go to work at the daycare.
My caseworker, Ted, introduced me to the KIPS parenting assessment tool early on in our work together. He said it would help me not only release a lot of my own stresses and build my confidence, but help with the stress and confidence of my children. He also explained to me how KIPS can help break the cycle of abuse.
It wasn't easy, and a year later it still isn't. Learning the 12 key parenting behaviors, especially being aware of both my own and my children's emotional states, was difficult to learn to do. However, the KIPS parenting assessment doesn't just teach you to be aware of these things, but also guides you in working with them and helps you grow as a family. For example, both of my children were throwing tantrums. The outbursts of emotion were loud and disruptive for our home, school, and work. Normally I would have shrunk away and avoided the confrontation by giving the kids anything they wanted. KIPS guided me on how to overcome my own anxieties, understand the underlying cause of why my children were throwing tantrums, realize when they are pushing boundaries, and stick to expectations for them.
A Remarkable Change
The fact that the KIPS tool also evaluates you as a parent based on responses from your kids is wonderful. It was a great feedback loop that allowed me to really understand my kids and take it a step further to continue our growth towards a new future.
This new future took me away from teaching in a daycare, which I had always loved. Instead though, I wanted to be more involved with my kid's lives. I felt like I owed it to their healing process to start teaching in a homeschooling co-op where I work with the equivalent of kindergarten students. A friend and fellow homeschooling educator noted a remarkable change in my mannerisms, confidence, and in turn how much happier and well adjusted my kids have become.
KIPS is designed to help us as parents be more loving and engaged in our child's care. However, I found that KIPS led me to be more loving and accepting of myself, my children, and it helped us all grow together. The tool has done a lot for my relationship with my eldest child who is now 7. In the year we have been working on our relationship with the help of this parenting assessment tool, we have become closer and more understanding of one another. My eldest now looks at me as a reliable parent she can turn to instead of running from me to my mother like she used to do.
It is odd to think that before my life was turned upside down I used to hope for a helping hand. I never thought that I had the strength to turn my life around. One year of learning to improve the KIPS parenting behaviors has given me more than the emotional support I needed, but also the training and tools to trust myself to be the parent I can be for my kids.