By Para Los Niños Team

December 10, 2023

For years, Ana, a parent of three Para Los Niños students, struggled to respond to her children’s emotional needs. From a young age, Ana endured unimaginable hardships. As a mother, she worked tirelessly to build a home that would not replicate those hardships.

However, despite her best efforts the trauma she experienced as a child impacted her relationship with her children. Knowing she had to address her underlying issues to better support her children emotionally, Ana sought help from PLN’s Mental Health team where she was connected to Daibelis Yerena, MFT. Through her sessions with Daibelis, Ana worked on regulating her emotions, building her communication skills, and developing a more positive approach to parenting.

“My whole life, truthfully, has been challenging. My life has been challenging because my mother died when I was one year old. [My childhood] affected me because, without realizing it, I wasn’t very loving [to my children]. I was one of those moms who didn’t hug her children, the kind that thought it wasn’t necessary because I didn’t have it.”

Before therapy, Ana coped with her stress by establishing strict rules for her children, like demanding silence in the car instead of allowing conversation. Over time, Ana realized how this rule hindered her relationship with her children; they could not share exciting projects, new friends, or simple anecdotes from their day.

Today, Ana enjoys picking up her eldest daughter from college to hear about her day and welcomes her four-year-old daughter’s enthusiastic stories from class. Ana credits her work with Daibelis for her improvements in active listening and emotion regulation.

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