How To Build A Strong Family Foundation One Small Nail At A Time

Ruben Padilla writes…

It’s always a treat whenever we see a Dad at one of our parent workshops because, sadly, it’s all too rare. Understandably, dads are often at work and unable to attend. Or worse, they’re not active in their childrens’ lives. So when we see a male figure in the classroom, we always celebrate it with encouragement, because we need more of them.

Recently, we delivered our Parenting is MAGIC program at Rowan Elementary School in Los Angeles. As luck would have it, a Dad showed up! He quietly sat on the side of the room and attended each workshop with his wife and young daughter (two other children were in school).

As is often the case, it took little time for this man (we’ll call him Juan) to feel comfortable enough to share his struggle with us.

Juan had a history of heavy drinking and abusive behavior towards his wife and children. These related problems cost him his job and nearly his family, and he desperately wanted to turn the tide.

He announced that he hadn’t had a drink since our first workshop and, with the newfound information and motivation we provided with each class, planned to stay sober for the rest of his life.

His honesty and willingness to share his plight in a roomful of women was no easy task, but his confession and commitment helped others to open up and also share their stories. We were fortunate to have Juan with us, and we let him know how important he was to us, his family, and the other parents.

We also learned that Juan was a fine craftsman who wanted work designing and repairing furniture. Tonyo Melendez and I commissioned him for some work to get started and helped him get his own business cards to pass out to potential clients.

Since then, we’ve kept in touch with Juan, checking in periodically to see how he’s doing.

He hasn’t had a drink all year. 2010 has been alcohol free, and his relationship with his wife and children has improved greatly. He works out of his home, so he gets to spend quality time with his family, and business is improving.

It’s these kinds of victories that inspire us to keep fighting the good fight, and we look forward to future stories of inspiration and hope in these trying times.

As always, we welcome your comments.

And if you need to repair a piece of furniture…

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