Jennifer McGowan says the entire energy in her household shifted when Strongest Families came into their lives.
She first experienced its “awesomeness” when she and her military husband, Sean, participated in what is now called the Parent Empowering Kids program in 2018 to learn ways to manage their then five-year-old son’s highly active behaviour and personality. The program was just what their family needed to put them on track for success. Now 13, son Chad has a big imagination coupled with a strong mental health foundation.
Chad magnetizes people with his sense of ease. He doesn’t do silly things to get attention at school or at home. He’s just himself no matter what the situation. It’s beautiful to watch his authenticity continue to develop.
We Needed Help Again
Three years and four military relocations later, Jennifer’s family again sought help through Strongest Families’ Defeat Anxiety program while living in Ottawa. This time it was for their 14-year-old daughter Charlie, who was struggling with anxiety and a sense of having no control over her life.
She had closed her heart space and had a sense of hopelessness. It’s hard always being the new kid every year. There is nothing good about that. We have to make new friends, adapt to a new culture and leave our home and community behind. It’s incredibly challenging not to understand what the future holds, and that can take away the enjoyment of today. But through Strongest Families, we’ve learned to feel our emotions, not become them.
It Helped Our Entire Family
Jennifer says the beauty of Strongest Families is that it ends up providing the whole family with tools and strategies, empowering them to come together and find clarity when they are going through a rough patch.
Noticing the good, journalling, belly breathing, the scheduling, the worry plan and the kind, empathetic, non-judgmental coaching all combine to give us everything we need to manage our highs and lows. It’s up to us to use them when we are facing difficulties.
Jennifer concludes by acknowledging the true appreciation that the entire McGowan family has for the help they received.
“My heart holds gratitude for the impact (Strongest Families) has had not just on one person but my whole family.”
Jennifer kindly shared with us some incredible artwork by her daughter Charlie.