Local organizations are coming together to better the community, by promoting healthy relationships between mothers and their sons. The idea for this weekend’s “Speak Life” retreat sparked from experiences learned in one single-parent home. 

Raising her son Kaedyn solo has not always been easy for Courtney Garcia.

“For a while I was being a bit aggressive with the things I said and how I acted,” Garcia said.

What was easy, she said, was taking out her frustration on the closest person to her. One conversation with a friend changed her perspective, though.

Garcia recalled, “He didn’t realize at the time, but what he was saying to me was like really digging into my heart, because I knew I was at home doing some of those same things.”

Her friend, a counselor himself, emphasized the importance of patience, and communication about emotions. Since then, her relationship with 10-year-old Kaedyn has improved.

“What I had to realize is that I expect him to know everything right off the bat, but it’s my job to teach him,” the mother said. 

Kaedyn will admit they still have work to do.

“My mom has been wrong on some of my homework, too,” he told me.

Plus, they said having individual relationships with a therapist provides a different perspective outside the home.

Garcia said of her son, “A lot of things, he’s not going to tell his mom, so having a male counselor really helps out for him.”

Garcia was inspired by her own transformation, and is now working with the Ashley Renae Hamilton Foundation for Domestic Violence Intervention and Awareness to host a one-day Speak Life empowerment retreat for mothers and sons, to teach them the same lessons.

She said, “A lot of what we see in society plays out in the home first, so if you can get into the root of where anger and miscommunication starts, then you can change the trajectory out in the world as well.”

The afternoon of activity is happening Sunday, Sept. 8 from 2-5 p.m. at the Lincoln Park Golf Clubhouse. Mother-son pairs cost $40. Each additional child is $10, and additional adults are $20 each. To register your family, click here.