The story below comes from a HIPPY home visitor in Pueblo.
HIPPY is so many different things to many different people. It can be a savior for a child’s education and an outlet for a parent to share their concerns for not only their child but possibly themselves.
I am going to talk about a family that I have had for three terms in the HIPPY program and has made big strides in her child’s education as well as her own personal life. This particular parent was having trouble with their child being able to identify different shapes. She has had an older child in the program and expressed the concern that with her older child she never had an issue with shapes, colors, or numbers. I reassured her that every child is different and especially with younger siblings.
She felt better and continued to work with her son on all of the Year 1 activities. Every week I made sure to ask about how their week has gone, not just with the program but in their personal life as well. As we came near the holidays this year I could see her fear easing about the progress her son was making with his shapes. He was successfully able to identify all of his HIPPY shapes. The mom was so excited she actually texted me to let me know how he was doing.
Fast forward to this week and she was again worried about his progress. She was afraid he was not learning his numbers as he should. However, rather than getting upset or becoming more anxious, she had the tools and support to chart a different path. She told me all the ways she was helping him to work on it. She also recognized that when she would get anxious it was counter productive, saying that when she would stress about his work he seemed to be able to sense her frustration, not with him but with herself.
During our home visit continued she mapped out her plan to get him back on track. As I sat and listened to her explain her plan and how she gushed over all of his progress, I couldn’t help but be thankful that I’m part of such an amazing program that not only helps out the children in our community but also our parents.
I feel as though my part in the HIPPY program has made me feel incredibly grateful to be a part of something so amazing. I have met so many amazing parents, some of which have taught me how to be a better parent and educator to my own children.