Blog post 

Finding Support For Parents of Children in Crisis

A child trapped in a crisis situation can leave parents struggling to find the solution and support they need.

Parents in the tri-area can now find someone to talk to through Because I Love You (BILY).

Whether their child is dealing with an addiction such as alcohol, drugs or self-harm, or has become involved in criminal activity, BILY Canada offers parents a place to talk to other parents who have been there, too.

The Parkland County chapter of BILY launched in May and is the second one in Alberta. Here, the facilitators are parents who have survived crisis situations with their children and want to help others through their own experience.

Claudette Young, who facilitates BILY, initiated meetings with other parents because she was struggling to find support while her daughter was having problems. The first Alberta BILY chapter was opened in west Edmonton in 2010.

“We’re not professionals by any means, but we are parents that have been through crisis who are now helping other parents,” she explained. “There is nothing better than talking to somebody that has gone through what you’re going through.”

BILY uses a 10-steps-to-success approach. The first step is to take care of yourself, Young emphasized. Other steps include learning not to feel guilty, learning to let go a little bit, setting rules in place, and following through.

“Most of our parents come to us really broken,” Young said. “In society, people will judge you for the choices that your children are making, so we tend to isolate ourselves and not really let anyone in on what’s really going on in our home. So BILY gives them a safe place to be able to share, take off your mask, and really tell us what’s going on.”

Many of these parents have concerns about their teenage children, but some are experiencing problems with children as young as two and three years old. There are also some parents of adult children who are dealing with addictions.

Young noted BILY is only one piece of the puzzle, and parents should also seek help through counsellors, doctors, psychologists, addictions therapy and other services.

For parents who feel they have nowhere else to turn, BILY has been life-saving. It has turned lives around, saving marriages and families.

The Parkland County BILY chapter meets every Thursday evening from 7:00-9:30 p.m. at Hope Christian Reformed Church (1004 AB-16, Carvel, Alberta). The meetings are free, but first-time attendants are encouraged to call Young at 780-245-2459 to register.