When things at school took a turn for the worse, Brooke lost respect for the adults around her. But with her TLG Early Intervention coach Jo by her side, Brooke has pieced back together what was lost and her future is looking so much brighter.
“In primary school, Brooke was doing brilliantly. She was getting on really well with her schoolwork and she was happy. It was when she moved to high school that things changed. She got bullied quite a lot and felt like nobody was doing anything to help her. That's when she became quite an angry child. She lost a lot of respect for adults.
Over time, school life became chaotic. She was skipping class and acting rudely towards teachers. They’d send her out of class and put her in detention but, to be honest, most of the time they’d just call me and I’d have to come to collect her.
At home, she wasn’t much better. Her behaviour with me was horrendous. She wouldn’t do as she was told and she’d basically scream and shout the house down. Our relationship became really bad – like really, really bad. I started to question my parenting skills. I felt like I was doing something wrong and that I was just a bad parent.
When school told me about Jo, it was such a relief. She was a coach from a local church who were sending volunteers into Brooke’s school to do one-to-one support with TLG. I was immediately open to the idea. At the time, I just wanted something to work so I would have tried anything to help her.
I’m so pleased I said ‘yes’. Compared to two years ago, Brooke is a completely different person.
Thanks to Jo and the coaching, she’s so much calmer. I’m not going to pretend she’s perfect because she can have her moments. That’s just typical though – she's a teenager! But, honestly, her behaviour’s brilliant now.
I think she liked being with Jo because she was listened to. That's the thing with Brooke, she feels like no-one listens to her but she trusts Jo. I think the way that Jo coaches her helps. She’ll play games with her and make her feel relaxed. Then they’ll chat and it means Brooke can confide in Jo and share what’s going well or what she’s struggling with.
It’s really helped our relationship too. Now she communicates with me. We’ll sit down and we’ll talk rather than arguing. I think Jo’s helped Brooke to talk about how she’s feeling in a calm way. It’s so nice to know that Brooke’s happier. She’s got a lot more friends and she’s coping so much better.
Jo and I have got to know each other as well. She’ll give me a wee text every now and then to let me know how Brooke’s getting on. We met up for coffee recently too. I just know that Jo is there for me and Brooke."