Summer can be a challenging time for families, with young people home more often childcare can be difficult, and youth have a lot more free time. This past summer was especially challenging for the “Haywards.” There are six children and one single mom in the Hayward family. The eldest children, “Sam” and “Anna,” were often expected to take care of their four young siblings, one of whom has a lot of physical and mental disabilities, while their mom was at work or out with friends.
Sam and Anna got frustrated. They started to act out and get into arguments with their mom. Their mom didn’t know what to do. She got more and more angry, and finally reached her breaking point. She called Second Story and brought Anna and Sam to the Emergency Shelter for Teenagers.
Sam and Anna’s weeks at the shelter were a healthy break from family tension, and an important opportunity for them to learn better ways to deal with their frustration.
The Haywards also attended family counseling together, where the counselor helped Sam and Anna’s mom understand age-appropriate expectations for her children. The counselor also was able to give her referrals for organizations that could help pay her utility bills and relieve some of financial pressure that was causing her so much anxiety.
Sam, Anna, and their mom all returned home with ideas for how they could change their own behavior and have a healthier family dynamic.