Josie, her husband and young son came to Canada from the Philippines in 2010. Not knowing anything about Canada, and not having any friends or family here, Josie was feeling rather isolated. As a new parent, she wanted to learn some other parenting ideas and came across the Parenting for Immigrants. By taking this program, she then learned about other Burnaby Family Life services, and found not only was she able to learn more about parenting, but she found a way to solve her feelings of isolation and provide opportunities for her son to make friends of his own age group.
Josie said that coming to BFL programs helped to take a load off and to distress. She greatly appreciated being given the space and time to learn new parenting skills and to meet other immigrant women, while her child was being cared for by someone else. Her son loved coming to the groups, and loved all of the activities, especially when he was able to make something to bring home and show off to his mom. He was always very proud of his artist and creative accomplishments! Josie also saw that her son’s time in the groups helped him to mature in a more social way, and that more and more engaging with other children of the same age group became easier for him. The snacks provided were always nutritious and healthy. The new foods introduced at the groups were then offered at home as well. Her son was not fond of milk before taking the program, but now he asks for it very often.
It was important for Josie to gain more parenting skills. She knew that parenting in the Philippines was different than in Canada, and learned better and effective ways of discipline, communication and self-care. What she learned in BFL parenting programs was very valuable to her, and recommended the programs to many other people. In fact, Josie found herself often relaying her new-found parenting skills to other Filipino parents.
The social context of BFL programs immensely helped Josie and her son with their feelings of isolation. Many friendships were made in the programs that continued on afterwards. The staffs in the programs though, were particularly friendly and supportive making Josie’s memories of her time at Burnaby Family Life to be very warm and welcoming.
* BFL needs a bigger building to be able to allow more participants and their children in the programs.
* An outside playground would also be a great idea, as well as a large indoor playground that could be used during the wintertime.
* It would be nice if the programs were offered more than one time per week. Twice a week would be nice.
* A “Just for Mom’s Group” would be great .. where mom’s come together to have a variety of different topics. It could also be offered in the evening, not just in the daytime.
(NOTE: To protect the identities of our clients, the Client Stories are not related to any photograph on our website)