Hi, I’m Bethany Roy, Counselor at Kindred Life, Gurnee Site. I have the opportunity to support teen parents and their families by facilitating group and individual counseling sessions throughout the year. Although Life Ed Groups wrapped up in May, counseling has continued at all three sites over the summer. Each of us is offering individual and group sessions throughout the summer to continue the growth and progress the moms have made during the program year.
The summer sessions have been a unique opportunity to bring alumni and new teen moms together. The alumni not only participate but also offer insight and a different perspective due to being a little further along in their parenting journeys. In our group session in July, at the Gurnee site, we had a wonderful combination of current moms and alumni to discuss relationships. We focused on building healthy relationships with God, their child’s father, and their support systems. It was so rewarding to see the alumni giving back to the program and supporting the current moms. We hope to continue these relationships throughout the summer and into the next program year.
“This year we focused a lot on communication. I learned about listening to others when they speak, and to not respond with the usual ‘Yeah, same here I totally get how you feel.’ Rather, we learned to sit there in silence, listen to one person speak at a time and to just REALLY listen. I kind of relate this to growing in my relationship with Christ. When we speak to God and ask him to speak back to us He says in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”. I’ve noticed that if I follow God’s command to be still, I hear him speaking to me. Being still causes me to just sit there and listen, just like in group counseling.”
-Angie, teen mom, member of Kindred Life since 2014
-Evelyn, teen mom
My faith and Godly relationships allow me to view life and relationships all in a different perspective – a new pair of glasses if you will. This was my safe haven and it was a great group for me to be involved with at a young age. I learned the importance of having both Michael and Bernardo involved in my kids lives and unfortunately have see the consequences with of absenteeism go full circle with Jayden. Through the mentoring program, I also learned a lot about respect, healthy boundaries and roles as it relates to co-parenting with their fathers. The program taught me how to help myself, which in return allowed me to help others & thrive in parenthood.
– Nicole , Alumni