Instructions Not Included

By: Janice Thomas
Director of Shelter Services

As a parent, there have been times I wished there was a go-to guide to explain how I was to raise my children. There were times when my husband I had the “deer-in-the-headlights” look and we were ready to wave the flag of surrender.

Early on we tagged teamed through the “sleeping-through-the-night” battles, followed by the war of wills of potty-training. As soon as we thought we were in the clear, the tween and teen years were upon us and we realized that we had to roll up our sleeves and dig in deep.

The families living at Third Street Alliance experience the same things. Homelessness doesn’t eliminate the unending task of parenting – sometimes it makes it even more difficult. The staff of Homeless Services realized we needed to give our families a safe place to build their parenting skills by teaching the parents skills that could help them to discipline their children from toddlers to teens while encouraging the children to be their best.

That’s where Kumari Ghafoor-Davis comes in. She is the owner of Optimistic Expectations (www.optimisticexpectations.org) and is a Parent Coach. Since 1994, she has worked in social services with children and families in crisis. She has been immersed with the conditions that concern others, giving her vision on how she can be of service.

Her own life experiences – being a teenage mom straight out of high school, putting herself through college, grad school, and currently working on her doctorate, getting married, having a second child, then sending her oldest son off to college – has made her more aware of her personal journey and the true journey of many parents and children.

So, the instructions do exist! Kumari is now offering our resident parents a platform toward better family cohesiveness. Her book, Real Talk: Ten Parenting Strategies to Raise Confident Successful Children offers strategies toward more effective parent/child communication.

In the upcoming weeks, Kumari will teach our residents on Healthy Relationships, Helping Our Children Choose Friends, Making Better Decisions and Assisting Our Children to Make Better Decisions.

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