SAN ANTONIO – Domestic violence is often triggered by stress factors at home, like poverty, job and food instability, or lack of child care.
Those are all things that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
That’s why Metro Health wants people to know about their free Positive Parenting Program, equipping all parents and caregivers with tools to cope with stress.
“I have five kids: a boy at 17, a girl at 16, then three little girls living with me, a three year old, a one year old and a five month old,” said Margarita Jimenez.
As if supporting five kids during a pandemic wasn’t enough, Margarita Jimenez said her three-year-old daughter Nia was diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkins lymphoma in May.
“We’ve been through COVID and she had to stop her chemo for a whole two weeks,” Jimenez said.
Even while talking to KSAT on Zoom, she continued her mom duties checking on Nia and getting her a snack.
Jimenez found Metro Health’s free Positive Parenting Program, called Triple P, about a month ago. She immediately took two seminars: the main 90-minute session, and another called Raising Confident.
“How to parent them, how to discipline them, the behavior, self-respect, self-esteem,” she said.
“We know the way we’re parented, the way our parents talk to us really kind of becomes the way we expect other people that love us to talk to us,” said Jenny Hixon, who leads Metro Health’s Violence Prevention Department.
Hixon said this program is used successfully around the world.
“Where they’ve been able to fully roll out Triple P across the community, there was a meaningful decrease in the number of hospital admissions related to injuries for kids.”
“To me it’s working,” Jimenez said. “The behavior and manners. Sometimes I won’t even have to ask her and she does it. Like, ‘Do you need any help momma? Are you okay mama?’ Kids understand those feelings from a parent and she’ll check on me herself.”
As Jimenez and Nia giggled together on the other end of the Zoom call, it was clear the program has given people like Jimenez the ability to enjoy parenting, even during the hardest of times.
Hixon wants people to know the program isn’t just for parents. It’s for all caregivers. It’s free, and you can pick and choose whatever parts you like.
It’s also offered in English and Spanish.
To learn more or sign up, click this specific link so you are able to find the free seminar.