Building Stronger Families

At home, Mark was a happy little boy. But he struggled to cope with social anxiety the moment he stepped outside. Sarah, a first-time mom, was unsure how to handle her son’s shyness. Then Mark began acting out at home too.

“When he wasn’t behaving well, I didn’t know how to make him behave without screaming and spanking,” Sarah says. “I didn’t feel good. I was confused and not sleeping well, because I felt like I was a bad parent.”

Sarah knew she needed help. She turned to LSI’s Parents as Teachers program, which provides free parent education and support to families with children up to age 5.

LSI was with Sarah every step of the way, providing home visits, introducing her to community support groups, and teaching her how to adjust to Mark’s developmental stages.

Sarah also joined LSI’s People Place, a central location in Ames where parents can connect with each other and find community resources they need to help their family thrive.

“I dealt with his behavior at home with their help,” Sarah says. “I feel more positive and in control. I feel like I’m on the right track of parenting.”

Mark, now 3, entered preschool last fall and Sarah is proud to see the progress he’s made. He’s learning to make new friends and now he can enjoy one of his favorite spots—the park near his home—without being afraid to meet new people. Learning how to handle Mark’s developmental stages has made Sarah more confident in raising her second child, Hannah. She knows what to expect as her daughter grows, and she’s ready to create the brightest future for her children.

“Parents as Teachers helped me so much with my parenting,” Sarah says. “The program is the best thing I have.”

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