Jade was in the middle of a difficult divorce, but still had to live in the same house as her ex-husband. He was very controlling, and this put a strain on family life. Both children were very academic, but their behaviour was getting worse and she struggled to deal with their emotional outbursts along with her own feelings.
Jade was isolated, had no family support, and did not want to burden her friends with her domestic struggles with the children and her ex-husband.
A Surrey Care Trust mentor, Christine, was arranged to support Jade.
They met weekly and Christine would listen to Jade’s difficulties with the children and provided a sounding board for ideas on how to improve family life. She gave practical ideas such as having weekly meetings so the children could express how they were feeling, and a family calendar so they all knew what activities were coming up and could plan accordingly. Christine was able to listen to Jade’s worries, frustrations, and concerns regarding her divorce.
Jade was also signposted to counselling to deal with a previous bereavement and to the the Freedom Programme to help her rebuild her confidence from being in a controlling relationship.
After a few months of supporting Jade, Christine realised that one of her children, Tommy, was really struggling with the breakdown of his parents marriage. His outbursts were becoming worse, he was very angry and this was beginning to show at school. We suggested he he might benefit from having a mentor of his own.
Tommy was introduced to a Keith who would meet him after school to go for a walk and talk. This gave him the time and space to discuss how he was feeling about family life and school. He had only recently started secondary school so there had been two big changes in his life. Tommy really benefited from the support and gradually home life improved, he started to enjoy activities like football again. He never missed a meeting with Keith and highly valued his support.
Jade, with continual encouragement from Christine, gradually found the strength to implement consistent changes which improved family life for all of them. With her help, she adjusted to life as a single parent and began enjoying activities with her children.