Using Power Tools

Posted on November 25, 2019

When a child is referred to Children’s Home Society (CHS), the Admissions Coordinator gathers information to gain insight into the child’s needs.

Some pre-admission notes about Blake:

  • Age 8.
  • Major attitude problem.
  • Loses control when angry.
  • No respect for authority. Talks back to parents and teachers.
  • Explosive temper.

Some pre-admission notes about Blake’s parents:

  • Feel like they have failed as parents.
  • Don’t know what to do.
  • Desperate to know how to help their son.
Here is Blake’s story, in his own words…

I knew I had an attitude problem. I talked back to my parents and teachers at school. When I got mad, I went off like a bomb.

One day my Mom told me we were going to get some help. Next thing I knew, we were on our way to Sioux Falls.

I remember that first day coming to CHS. We all got out of the car and a lady was there to meet us. I didn’t know what was going on.

My parents admitted me to the CHS school as a day student. I was in the third grade. I would come to CHS for school during the day, then go home at the end of the day. I was pretty angry about all of this and things got worse at home and at school.

It wasn’t long before it was decided that I should live at CHS. I was told I might be there for a year. Not if I could help it!

The first month was kind of scary. I missed home. I didn’t sleep very well. I was just mad about everything. But as I got to know the staff and other kids it got better.

It felt like such a long time before I could see my parents. When they came for a visit, I was so happy! I thought they were here to take me home, but that was not the case. They kept coming to visit almost every week and we would talk to Kelly, our family therapist. Over time, things got easier when they left to go home.

There were lots of rules at CHS. And they were strict. You needed to get permission to do almost anything, and there was a set time for everything—like to shower, brush your teeth, eat, go to school, and get ready for bed.

There were a lot of good people at CHS that helped me. I began to learn right from wrong. Kelly taught me about tools I could use, especially when I began to get angry. Like if I got mad, I would think about the thoughts I was having, breathe real deep, and walk away. But really to collect my thoughts before I would speak. I still use these tools today.

Katie also helped me a lot. She would take me aside when I got upset to talk through my anger instead of having an outburst. Another tool I still use.

One time we all had the chance to go to a TWINS game. I wanted to go so badly. It all depended on my attitude and behavior. I used my tools to make sure I could go. We left at 3:00 in the morning and got back really late the same night. It was so much fun!

My improved behavior also helped me get to take karate. I earned belts and I still have them. I was pretty proud about that. I was not there a year, but just 6 months. I really wanted to be with my family, so I was motivated to make changes.

I loved going on home visits. I was so happy to be home with my family and my friends. One time my Mom made a poster that said “Welcome Home Blake!” I still have all the letters everyone wrote to me while I was at CHS.

I left CHS during the summer. Kelly would come to our house for visits as I was getting ready to go back to school. People told me I was growing up and getting more respectful. I liked that. I still got mad from time to time, but I kept using the tools.


I graduated from high school on May 26, 2019. I have a full time job working as a laser operator.

Ever since I was young I’ve wanted to be a trucker and be able to see more of the United States. When I turn 21, I want to get my CDL and possibly look into that.

If I wouldn’t have come to Children’s Home, I’m not sure what my life would be like. I probably would still be insecure, wouldn’t care about others, have a bad attitude, and be angry all the time. I would not be a nice person. CHS helped me 110%.

If I am a Dad someday, I will teach my kids about the toolbox. To be responsible with how they manage their life, and to know right from wrong. Or if I can help some young kid who was like me, I will do it in a heartbeat. I can teach them from my mistakes.

From Blake's Mom, Loretta…

I want to say thank you so much for all you did to help our family. I am so proud of the man Blake has become. You always have a place in our hearts!

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