Maria has four children, three grandchildren and lives in Lorain
What do you do to relax?
Watch a movie, take a shower, go outside or listen to music.
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
My children are grown and out of the house, but I have three grandchildren and one on the way – all boys. I get to see two often, one now lives in S Carolina.
What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family?
Great information and tips. The CFK newsletter offers lots of opportunities to attend workshops, information on camps, and other opportunities to meet other families as a support. I really enjoy the Resource Fair, there are lots of opportunities to see what resources are available in Lorain County that can be helpful to families.
Whenever I am looking for ideas, I go to the internet and do a Google search. My go to sites are usually the Metroparks and libraries for things to do with them. When I am looking for tips and tricks, I often go to the CFK newsletter for events. I also look through my Facebook page for things that people post. I work for LCCAA Head Start, so I refer to our teachers and my co-workers when I need assistance for my family or other families we serve.
Which have been your favorite Connecting for Kids resources?
The variety of resources and information. I think my favorite resources are the workshops that are given. They give families an opportunity to learn more and it provides a support since the other parents that attend have similar concerns. The Lorain County Resource Fair is awesome, there are lots of resources available that are throughout the county that can assist.
The best way I ask for support…
Is to be open and honest. In order to help your child, you have to admit there is a problem and you must be open to the suggestions. I have seen parents that cannot accept that their child needs help or that their learning process is different from other children, and they continue to struggle. Being able to fight for the help that my child needed, for me, was a success. Even when I couldn't get help, I did my research and worked consistently with my child. As a parent, you must be patient. I had to repeat myself constantly, homework never took 30 minutes, it took hours. My daughter's kindergarten teacher kept giving my daughter sad faces on her papers and it really made me upset. When I spoke to her, she had the nerve to say sad faces were better that giving her an F. What?!?!? From that point on, I lost faith in the school system helping with my struggling child. I had to do my own homework to seek the help they needed. For me, that is what worked.
What I worry about most…
Is how they will be able to succeed confidently. As a mom and grandma, I am always advocating for my children and I work with them to speak for themselves. I worry that when they make a mistake, they will back away and put their head down. They need to keep moving forward and try again, regardless of the judgements and hurt they will feel. I worry that they will quit when it gets too hard. I make it a point to get them to talk about the struggles and to advocate for themselves so that if, and when, they get to that point, they will be able to keep moving forward.
The most difficult part of parenting a child who struggles is…
Learning patience. It is frustrating when you spend so much time working with your child and in 30 minutes, you start all over. My daughter struggled the most. She could not retain certain things and it took a lot of patience to work with her. She was the child that was very quiet and would not ask for help. She could not comprehend or retain math and reading, she struggled. We worked hard every day. I can happily say she graduated high school, got her driver's license and has taken some college classes. She never gave up!
Do you have any recommended resources such as blogs, websites, or books that we can share?
I work at Head Start so I am always researching resources. I like kidshealth.org since it is easy to read and shares good information about a variety of health topics. I also like Sesame Workshop as there are a lot of resources.