Program Spotlight: Meld
Parenting Programs are offered through the Community Programs component of Methodist Healthcare Ministries. The Community Programs of MHM focus on bringing together individuals of similar backgrounds, ages, or life situations and creating a community within a community.
The Meld Parenting Program brings together groups of parents who have similar parenting needs, and provides them with the tools to help them become more confident leaders within their families. The program consists of peer groups guided by a team of Parent Group Facilitators, whose roles are to provide groups with curriculums designed to address health and safety, child guidance and development, family management and personal development.
The core philosophy of the Meld program stems from the belief that parents can, and do: learn from each other; give one another support; need to be free to make informed decisions about their families; and can cooperate in groups while maintaining their individuality.
Meld groups usually meet once a week, for two hours at various locations around San Antonio. Groups meet over a two-year period, and are eligible to participate in a free annual field trip. Volunteers help to facilitate Meld groups, and provide child care during group meetings.
- Meld for Young Moms
Meld program especially designed for young mothers ages 13 to 25. Participants meet weekly or biweekly to receive basic, practical parenting techniques and support. All participants are encouraged to pursue and achieve their educational and career goals.
- Meld for Young Dads
Meld program serving fathers facing emotional, societal, financial and interpersonal barriers to participating in their child's life. Through group work and other services, fathers receive information and support that can help them to understand the special role they play in their child's life.
- Meld for Growing Families
This Meld program is an extension of the Young Moms program, for mothers ages 26 and older as well as grandparents raising grandchildren. The curriculum focuses on age-appropriate child development techniques; managing outside influences on children's lives; living situations; violence; and balancing work and family life for optimal health and well-being.
- Meld Special
Meld Special brings together parents of children living with a wide range of illnesses and disabilities to provide support for the specific challenges of raising children with special needs. The curriculum focuses on: parent relationships; extended-family relationships; siblings; coping with grief; dealing with professionals; play growth and development; and stress and behavior guidance.