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When independence is not the solution
Thursday, April 30, 2015

“Jenny” a mum with 4 young boys came to the SunnyKids refuge “Najidah” after experiencing significant Domestic Violence at home. Jenny knew of Najidah because of her sons’ engagement with the SunnyKids in Schools program (SKIS). 

Jenny an extremely independent women with a strong passion for “standing on her own two feet,” struggled to ever ask others for help let alone to accept it. Her mantra of “I can do it myself” and a strong defensive attitude caused the development of unhealthy relationships across many areas of her families lives especially within School where three of her four boys were displaying disruptive behaviours in the classroom and Jenny’s attempts at advocating for her children were seen as aggressive and unacceptable. 

Jenny’s inability to foster positive relationship continued to provide challenges in the refuge space where she struggled with the social dynamic. However with ongoing support and continuing opportunities for guidance and coaching, she slowly began to open up. Sharing with staff about her struggles bit by bit, Jenny began to trust in others and one day stated she “couldn’t do it anymore” and “needed help”. 

As soon as Jenny realised and welcomed support, SunnyKids initiated a meeting for Jenny at her children’s school where all parties involved reached a mutual understanding and agreement on how best to support Jenny and her family. Since the agreement was put in place, the three boys that were displaying high levels of at-risk and disruptive behaviour now attend school regularly and their absences have decreased significantly.

Furthermore, Jenny is now living with her children in independent sustainable accommodation in the local area and meeting weekly with a specialist support team. Her team includes a psychologist who provides in home sessions for the three older boys and supports with behaviour management strategies.  There is also a holistic Paediatric assessment underway to support all diagnosis and additional teacher aid support has been provided in school to assist in keeping the boys in school and progressing their education.

Jenny has affectionately said that SunnyKids “saved her life and her family,” and she is happy to meet with the SunnyKids team every couple of weeks to check in and receive the support she needs to stay moving forward. Ultimately it is Jenny who had to make the decision to do things differently and since she allowed herself to get help, her family is on the right track and has a community support system that is there to help each of them reach their full potential. 

Sometimes in life, it is those of us that appear to be independent and strong that need the most help. SunnyKids is a community of people that care and we are so happy that Jenny and her boys are part of that community too. 

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