What a Father Learned From His Son

Thanks to your support, Wayne learned that communication is a two-way street.

   Wayne, a single father, was growing apart from his 15-year-old son, Dakota. They argued a lot over things like school, chores and finances. During one argument, the Department of Health and Human Services got involved. They recommended that Wayne and Dakota participate in Highfields’ Families Together Building Solutions Program (FTBS) which helps families create solutions to prevent out-of-home placement for children.

   Wayne and Dakota met with their Family Counselor, Kayla Harner, once a week to discuss their problems. Wayne was frustrated that Dakota wasn’t keeping up with his chores and was playing with his Xbox all the time; Dakota was frustrated that his dad didn’t understand the stress he was under with school and sports.

   Kayla listened to Wayne and Dakota, and gave them the tools to work through their issues.

   “Kayla showed us ways to improve our communication skills and rebuild our relationship,” said Dakota.

   “Kayla made me look at things in a whole new way,” said Wayne. “She helped me understand that I shouldn’t expect a 15-year-old to think like a 45-year-old. What’s important to me isn’t necessarily important to him, and I need to tell him what I want instead of complaining about it.”

   Wayne and Dakota communicate a lot better now. They are looking at problems from each other’s point of view, listening to each other, and working toward solutions together.

   “I try to see things from his point of view and not just my own,” said Dakota. “We try to think about the solution that would be best for us as a family.”

   “We talk to each other more about things that are going on in our lives, like our wants and needs and our problems, instead of sweeping it under the rug,” said Wayne. “We’re still learning…it’s a journey.”

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