HEALTHY BONDS, HEALTHY FAMILY

Lorena's Story

Parenting is tough, and at times it can get downright noisy.

“Nothing prepared me for that screeching,” said 46-year-old Lorena Venegas from East Haven.

Lorena and Juan’s twin daughters were just 4 pounds 8 ounces and 4 pounds 12 ounces when they came home from the hospital.

Those girls, Emma and Laura, are now 7 years old and they are thriving in school and at home. Lorena says the family is much happier and calmer these days thanks in part to a parenting course that is supported by United Way called Circle of Security Parenting.

Circle of Security is a parent education framework based on decades of research that provides a clear roadmap for understanding children’s behavior. Caregivers meet in a group for 8 weeks and learn about children’s cues and how to effectively and calmly respond. Through this effort, we have reached over 350 caregivers.

“It teaches you how to have better attachment with your child, nurture your child, and meet the needs of your child,” said Lorena.

United Way focuses on the early childhood years because the first years in a child’s life are so critical for social, emotional, and physical development.  And, we know parents — and the quality of the parent-child relationship — have a huge impact on a child’s development.

United Way’s COS-P classes include parents from all backgrounds, making the experience powerful and at times eye-opening for participants.

“That’s why it was so impactful, because it didn’t matter where you were from or what happened to you because we can all understand what it was like being a kid or being negatively scolded, or not rewarded, or not nurtured, or not loved,” said Lorena.

The good news? The healthier parents’ relationships are with their children, the healthier our community will be and it’s never too late to start.

“Juan and I, we had rough childhoods, so we always say ‘hopefully we already had it as rough as our family needs to be so that our daughters can have a better life.’”

“Juan and I, we had rough childhoods, so we always say ‘hopefully we already had it as rough as our family needs to be so that our daughters can have a better life.’”