Jada Noel, Then and Now
She is “is just excelling awesomely,” says her Mom
“If you don’t know but you learn, then you adapt.” –Deb Noel, on how ParentChild+ helped her change her parenting style
Deb Noel knew that she wanted her children to grow up differently than she had. She wanted them to be able to tell her if something was wrong. She wanted them to be individuals. When Deb and her daughter Jada began their ParentChild+ home visits through Family Connection of Easton, PA, Jada was a shy young girl. She always wanted to be around her mom and could not do anything without her. Deb describes her parenting style at the time as “old school”. She says, “I didn’t give my children a chance to speak, because that is the way I was taught.”
Deb says her ParentChild+ early learning specialist opened her eyes to new ways of parenting. “I learned children have voices too. I learned the only way I could become a good parent was to listen to my children. The Program changed my whole dynamic – if you don’t know but you learn, then you adapt.” The relationship between Deb and her early learning specialist was a non-judgmental safe zone, where the two women could talk openly. Deb recalls, “If something irritated me, we could talk about it and ask each other how to handle it. If I decided to take her opinion it would be ok and if I didn’t, that was ok too. As time rolled on, I just realized I needed to change, and I did.” Deb says the “openness, willingness, happiness and niceness” made ParentChild+ a comfortable experience. “They would come after school, spend that time to try and help my kid succeed in life, which she has.” Deb discovered that Jada learned through reading. She says she was never a reader herself and had not previously realized how helpful reading could be to a child’s development. “ParentChild+ helped me with reading to my children. We started reading after that. Reading is fundamental.”
As Jada grew, Deb developed new and creative ways to talk to her daughter. It was crucial to Deb to preserve the open and respectful relationship that had been established. She knew she wanted to remain close to her daughter and her son, she wanted them to continue to tell her how they felt, if something was wrong, or if they needed help. “We always had a secret world we could go into. Jada and me would hold hands and put our faces next to each other and go into our secret world and we could go there and say anything we wanted and it was a safe space. We still go there every once in a while. I can’t do lying, don’t lie. If you want to tell me something go into the secret world.”
Today, the Noel family is doing very well. Deb works as a travel agent and cares for her mother. Jada is currently a college student and loves school. In high school, Jada participated in a program that worked with the elderly. Jada has pursued this passion, and currently works with the elderly at a Rehabilitation and Nursing Center near her college. She wants to become a psychiatrist. Deb proudly says Jada “is just excelling awesomely.”
The Noels will forever remain a part of the ParentChild+ family. Deb is friends with her early learning specialist to this day. She credits ParentChild+ with helping her change her parenting style, allowing her to establish a deep and open connection with her children.