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Because I love You, a Support Group for Parents of Troubled Kids, Toddlers to Adults-

Jun 20, 2001 (Updated Aug 13, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Offers support to parents of kids/teens, weekly meetings, on-going support, a lifesaver

Cons:You have to participate to help yourself and your child/children

The Bottom Line: If you are having difficulties with your children of any age, Because I Love You can help and support you. They offer so much! Please read the review for details.

I was at my wits end as a single parent; their father wasn't interested in participating in their lives. I was introduced to Because I Love You (aka B.I.L.Y) from a co-worker.


This was posted under the wrong topic when I first joined epinions, and I was unable to move it, so deleted the original, and am reposting it under on-line websites. This is a group that is very close to my heart.

BILY's description from the website:

Because I Love You (BILY) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting parents with troubled children of any age. We promote structure, consequences and consistency in raising our kids and we have helped thousands of families over the past 19 years. We help parents deal with drugs, runaways, truancy, verbal and physical abuse, curfew, dress codes and their problem friends. We also handle the aggravating things like messy rooms, chores not being done and low school grades.

History of BILY as indicated on their website:

BILY was started in 1982 with eight parents and has grown to numerous locations in Southern California and affiliate groups. In various parts of the country in the past years, several thousand parents have attended our program. We have seen runaways return home, truants return to school and graduate, children who were dependent on substances have become clean and sober and families have been reunited.

What I had tried before BILY:

I did my best for my sons, worked hard, gave them love, attended parent/teacher conferences, participated in their activities, the whole nine yards. I also, intermittently had the boys in therapy, got them Big Brothers with the Big Brother Association, joined Parents Without Partners, both for them and me. It wasn't enough.

What was going on?:

I had difficulties with my sons in setting proper boundaries. The older one in particular was challenging. He blamed himself for our divorce, and felt totally rejected by his father. I felt helpless and alone, until a man I worked with, also a single parent, suggested I attend an orientation for a group called Because I love You. The group's originator, Dennis Poncher, was originally a part of Tough Love, but didn't agree with all of their principles (I've never attended Tough Love, so can't speak to that) so started his own group. They meet once a week, usually at schools, and the meetings run for an hour and a half.

Who would benefit by the group?:

It is for parents (married or single) of children or step-children of any age from toddlers to adults (though the majority of course are teens). The problems could be attitudinal, substance abuse, school attendance problems, criminal problems, running away, curfew, physical or emotional abuse.

What is it like?:

I was scared to death the first time I attended. The meeting was at a school a few blocks away from me. They first have an orientation, then divide people into small groups and each parent/parents take their turn discussing the difficulties they are having with their kids. The people in the small group then give helpful suggestions of what has helped them in similar situations. Every small group is led by one facilitator who has been in the group for a while, and has grown from the group, resolved many of his/her problems with their child(ren) and wants to give back. A list of phone numbers is given out so you can call the people on the list to obtain help if an urgent situation arises.

The basic concept is to show our children (of any age) that there are consequences for negative behaviors. At the end of the meeting everyone meets again, and various parents get in front of the group, and share their successes in the last week, whether little or huge. When I first attended I spent most of the time feeling overwhelmed. I felt so helpless and frustrated as I just wasn't consistent enough, and tried to please the kids not monetarily, but being too lenient, to compensate for their Dad leaving them.

How did the group benefit me?

The group helped me set rules, show my children I was in charge and frankly was a lifesaver in a very difficult time for me. I belonged to the group for around five years, first as a member and later as a group leader. I went from a sniveling, helpless, overwhelmed parent to a person who could help others. I am very grateful to Because I love You, and I saw them help 100's of other parents, both intact married couples, single parents, rich or poor, black or white, parents of young kids, many parents of teens, parents of adult children, and gay couples. If needed they can refer to excellent substance abuse programs, residential facilities, appropriate schools; assist in obtaining necessary funding, many, many resources.

Where are the meetings?

They started of course in California but now have affiliates in Ohio, PA, OK, NY, MA, NJ, MN, GA, KY, MD. This is a non-profit group, and you are not alone out there. You just have to want things to improve, make the effort to attend, be open to others suggestions. Good luck to you! If it worked for me, it'll work for anyone.

Final thoughts

I think Because I Love You is a phenomenal group. Their website lists contacts, history, resources and links. By the way, my sons are now 25, 28, both are hardworking, intelligent, responsible, caring adults, and my efforts paid off. The website for the group is located at www.becauseiloveyou.org for more information, or to learn how to start your own group if none in your area.

As noted, if your children have a need, they can also refer you to drug programs, residential facilities, group homes etc., but most importantly you will be among other parents who are now, or have in the past, had similar problems. It is wonderful to know you are not alone, and it is isn't your fault.

I went to the group every Thursday night for about five years, first as a struggling single parent, and then as a group facilitator to give back to them. I can not praise the group highly enough. I suggest you go to their website to gain more information, and then attend meetings. They really help! Also, please feel free to email me for any further information or guidance. They have larger group meetings of course during the school year than the summer, but still worth giving it a look-see in the summer. It will also give you a headstart.

Thanks for reading, and yes there is help out there!


The Parent Support Group
P.O. Box 2062
Winnetka, Ca 91396-2062
(310) 659-5289 * (818) 882-4881
Fax (805) 493-2714
E-mail bily1982@aol.com

Recommend this product? Yes

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