Charmaine has recently embarked on a new venture with ECP and will be facilitating groups for blind and visually impaired parents and parents and caregivers for blind and visually impaired children. Excited about the opportunity to work with a different audience she admits that when it comes to the challenges of parenting, many of the needs are the same for all parents despite their disabilities.
“They still experience the same types of things: wanting to know how to discipline correctly and in a positive manner and build their child’s self-esteem, dealing with the stress of being with a parent with the added challenge of dealing with their own disability or raising a child with a disability. Although, the challenge of teaching how to potty train a blind child was an interesting discussion.”
For the past few months Charmaine has been connecting with interested participants and assessing their needs both over the phone and in person. In a few weeks, she will lead the first of many groups serving this specific population.
Charmaine shares that her work with ECP has helped her grow as a parent as well. A mother to 2 sons, ages 33 and 23 and an 18 year-old daughter, she admits that playing the role of disciplinarian wasn’t something that came naturally to her, but after a divorce she found herself having to find a way to provide her children with the structure and order they were used to:
“After a while, I began to realize I was doing more harm than good because they were used to more structure. I was suddenly saying, ‘You don’t have to do this and that,’ but once I got my own personal feelings together I learned to be more of a backbone parent and talk to my children more,” she reveals referring to the Power to Parent curriculum.
Like many facilitators, by witnessing different family styles and working closely with the Power to Parent curriculum, McFadden is learning not just how to better serve families, but also a lot about herself:
“After doing the groups and coming to work for ECP I found myself thinking, “I wish I would’ve known some of these things beforehand!”
We look forward to a future of working with diverse populations and we are happy to have Charmaine on our team.
To learn more about classes for families with blind and visually impaired members, please contact our office at 215-496-9780.