Tuesdays with Parents and Teens: Sue Parker

Family Nurturing Programs are only as good as the facilitators who lead them. FNC's Director of Training and Nurturing Programs, Sue Parker (right, with former FNC intern, Amanda Hsu) has been facilitating Nurturing Programs since 1991 and has been with FNC since 1998. Over the course of her 25-year career, Sue has guided hundreds of famlies through the nurturing philosophy. She atrributes the success of Nurturing Programs to the safe spaces they provide for families not only to take in information (cognitive learning) but also to talk about their feelings (affective learning). 

On Tuesday evenings, Sue coordinates a Parent and Teen Nurturing Program with social workers from the Dimock Street office of the Department of Children and Families. The curriculum is unique in that it divdes the evening in half: in the first hour, the parent group and the teen group meet and addresses topics separately; after dinner, the groups come together for joint discussion. These conversations can be difficult (as parents of teens can imagine), but Sue highlights the importance of respect. 

Sue's advice this Tuesday for families: "Parents, don't take everything teens do personally. Listen more. Teens, understand that parents want respect as much as you do. They are trying their best." 

While the Dimock program is only in week five out of fifteen, Sue sees changes already. "We all look for big, dramatic moments to talk about, but change starts with little moments. The first change for most families is making a commitment to be there at the program every week. The second sign of progress is when family members open up to each other. Sometimes the most significant moments and changes for families happen after the program ends." 

Learn more about FNC's Parent and Teen Nurturing Programs.