Supporting parents helps children flourish

Kristina, Brovary, Ukraine

“I wanted my daughter to have a better childhood than mine, but I didn't know how to make it happen,” says Kristina, a single mother from Brovary, Ukraine. “My dad was strict and would often beat us. He would force us to work. There were no feelings at my house, no hugs.”

Kristina and her husband divorced when Masha, her daughter, was a toddler. “I struggled to find work, I had no help, I was a mess. I would often yell at Masha. One time, I caught myself wanting to hit her. I got so scared. It was then I knew I had to find help.”

Through SOS Children's Villages’ family strengthening, Kristina participated in individual and group counselling. Masha received educational support and joined sport activities. In addition, the family was also supported with clothes and food.

“I became calmer, more relaxed and attentive. I found out other parents felt like me. I found out they too shouted at their children. Together we started to become better parents. I stopped micro-managing Masha. I learned to trust her and let her make her own decisions. But, I make sure she knows I'm always there for her and will support her in everything she does. To my great surprise, this change in me resulted in a huge positive change in Masha. My once shy and scared child became class president. She loves sports, like me, and is dedicated to earning her black belt in karate.”
*Names changed for privacy protection

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