Meld: An MHM Parenting Program
Having a child changes everything doesn’t it? It changes your body and lifestyle, and it can change how you view the world. If you’re a young mom or dad, it can change your future. For a grandmother raising a grandchild, it can plunge you back into a role you had not anticipated reviving. And, if you’re a parent to a special needs child it changes everything.
But for all those changes, there is comfort in knowing there is a place that can help to guide you through it—that’s Meld.
Meld is a two-year program offered by the Parenting Programs of Methodist Healthcare Ministries (MHM). It brings together groups of parents who have similar parenting needs, and offers them a curriculum and tools that will help them to become more confident leaders within their own families.
Upon completion of the two-year curriculum, participants will have developed practical parenting techniques and gained the support to help them pursue the goals they set for their families. As families prepare to transition beyond the Meld program, their parenting coordinator will work with them to identify areas where they need ongoing support, and will ensure that they get connected to the resources that they need in the community. Parents may find that there are other programs and services offered by MHM that may provide the additional support they need; they may also be introduced to new resources in the community. Whatever the case, the Meld staff will work with each family to ensure that they are aware of resources and opportunities beyond the scope of what the Meld program offers, and to assist them with getting connected, as needed.
There are four Meld programs, each geared towards the particular needs of the parents within the group. There is a Meld for Young Moms group for young mothers ages 13 to 25; a Meld for Young Dads group; Meld for Growing Families for mothers ages 26 and older, and for grandparents raising grandchildren; and a Meld Special group, designed specifically for parents raising children living with a wide range of illnesses and disabilities.
There are no income requirements to participate in any of the groups, and enrollment is simple. A light meal or snack is provided at each group meeting, and volunteers provide free childcare during each session. Active participants in the program are also eligible to participate in a free annual field trip.