In the year 1998, my husband decided to make a career change which involved lower pay and additional schooling. We had already decided that I needed to stay home to raise our two children, so we didn’t exactly know how we were going to meet the needs of our growing family. I appealed to a higher power for direction and, by providence, was led to the Utah Youth Village in Salt Lake City, Utah. I had never thought of doing foster care before, but knew that at this time I was meant to, so I could provide for my family and support my husband.
After getting hired by the Youth Village, as we called it, we were required to complete an intensive training and become certified on their system of foster care and what they called, “The Teaching Family,” which was developed by Boys Town.
After the first night of instruction from the Youth Village, I felt that quite a few missing pieces had been inserted into the parenting gaps that I didn’t even realize I had. I was immediately free from emotional anxieties. I remember the conversations that my husband and I had on our hour-long car rides to and from SLC every night to these classes. We were amazed at the difference this style of communication was already making in our lives. We were talking more effectively with each other, and our children seemed to understand us better even though they were only ages three and one. My son, who had refused to potty train, all of the sudden felt the desire to try and within a few weeks, he was completely trained. I attribute this to the change of the atmosphere in our home. He was open to change, because he felt more secure. If homes have a hostile or stressed feeling all of the time, children become insecure and protect anything that they feel they have control over, even to the point of adding more frustration to the parents and themselves. This is what had unconsciously happened in regard to potty training and many other things in our home. I was amazed that it had really all boiled down to basic communication skills and self discipline. Life, and our home for that matter, hasn’t been the same since those Youth Village trainings.
A few years later a friend approached me to teach a homeschool support group meeting on the subject and I have been speaking about effective parenting every since.