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  • Roots of Responsibility Tips for Raising Kids Who Care

    If you’re the parent of a school-age child, you probably celebrated the “new year” a few weeks ago, with high hopes and expectations and maybe some trepidation, too, especially if past years have been rough. You might have decided that this is will be the year for teaching the kids to take responsibility. With the […]

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  • Taming the Electronic Monster

    This blog entry was first posted at A Platform for Good, a project of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) designed to help parents, teachers and teens to connect, share and do good online. A dad tells me that his son is addicted to Minecraft, a well-known video game. A mother says that her daughter […]

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  • Is My Child’s Behavior Normal?

    I often ask myself: is this normal? Maybe it’s my frustration at overbooking my schedule or my exasperation at my child’s latest take on misbehavior, but something prompts me to wonder if other people are experiencing the same feelings, or if I’m somehow an outlier. Parents of extra-challenging kids find themselves asking this more often, […]

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  • Strategies for Successful Family Vacations How to experience things as a family in a different way, enjoy each other and build special memories

    Surrounded by piles of laundry and bags to still unpack, my exhausted husband turned to me after our first travel experience as new parents and said, “That was NOT a vacation, it was a trip!” With a growing family and these reduced expectations we slogged through the next few years of family travel. But I […]

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  • Making “Happy Birthday” More Meaningful How limits help my kids enjoy and appreciate their gifts

    When it comes to children’s birthday parties, I confess that I am a bit of a curmudgeon. I love the idea of two hours of fun, but in my ideal world we’d eliminate the party gifts and goody bags. I have a hard time understanding the need for gifts, where so many of us blessedly […]

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  • Your Whole Family Soup & Salad Challenge With recipes and formulas to create your own

    Editor’s note: This is the second in a series by guest blogger Kelly Bradley, an integrative licensed physical therapist, certified health coach and nutritional consultant and certified chef. Through her PEP workshops and coordinating the “Good Eats” station at the Can Do Kids Fair, Kelly introduces parents and children to adventurous, nutritious foods that are […]

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  • What Parents Can Do to Prevent and Stop Bullying Giving Our Children the Strength to Do What's Right

    “He punched her in the face.” “He pushed her down the stairs.” “She asked her to sit on the bus with her, then deliberately sat with someone else.” “He rates the kids on the playground and gets away with it, because they’re afraid of him.” Some mean behaviors can be classified as acts of bullying […]

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  • PEP in the News Fox 5 interviews Patti Cancellier about a tough parenting question

    Yesterday afternoon Fox 5 News ran a story titled “Public Shaming Punishment,” reporting the aftermath of a photograph taken of an unidentified teenage girl standing on a sidewalk holding a sign that said, “I AM A BULLY!” After hearing the opinions, both pro and con, of several people on the streets of Gaithersburg, reporter Bob […]

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  • Parenting Education at PEP: Strong Tradition, Bright Future A Conversation with Cheryl Wieker and Kathy Hedge

    Editor’s note: Next month, PEP will complete its transition to new leadership as Cheryl Wieker retires and turns the executive director’s keys over to Kathy Hedge. Looking back on PEP’s growth and accomplishments and ahead to the next phase of service to Washington area parents and families, we asked these two leaders to talk about […]

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  • PBS Visits PEP Class in DC

    Has parenting gotten “out of whack for many of us,” as Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff wondered on the PBS NewsHour last week? It’s a great question that was covered in the segment “Should kids’ happiness be the goal of parenting?” which included Woodruff talking with several parents attending the class PEP I: Parenting 5 […]

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  • Celebrating Screen Free Week May 5-11

    Hello, parents, and welcome to Screen-Free Week! If this is the first you’ve heard about it, we suggest you read Rinny Yourman’s post for some quick inspiration. And, before you turn off the computer at home (or, while you take a break at work), download 101 Screen-Free Activities and perhaps check out other links to other ideas and […]

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  • No TV, Computer or iPad? No Problem Why I am SO looking forward to Screen Free Week

    My family has participated in Screen-Free Week, sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, for the last three years. But before I say more, I should start with a confession: I absolutely love this week. Next Monday, May 5th, is the start of this year’s Screen-Free Week (SFW), which, as the name implies, is […]

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  • Your Teen Has a Smartphone. Now What? Parenting Tips for Online Safety and Learning

    When I was younger, going online meant sitting down at the family computer, making sure no one was using the land-line telephone, and logging on via a dial-up connection that was loud enough to alert everyone in the house I was about to use the Internet. But for many of today’s teens, going online involves […]

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  • Your Whole Family Breakfast Challenge First of a series, with recipes!

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  • 8 Practical Ways to Equip Today’s Students for Leadership Guest post by Tim Elmore, founder and president of Growing Leaders

    Generation iY (i.e., students born since 1990) are different from earlier generations in their decision-making skills, communication methods, values and style. So what does that mean for parents? How can we help Generation iY respond well to the needs of the world around them? Let me suggest some practical ideas: 1. Let them be different […]

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  • The Art of the Open-Ended Conversation

    Going down this parenting path with my own two teenagers and being a parent educator, I experience and listen to lots and lots of parenting struggles. Of the many tips and tools I know, one has been jumping out at me lately: the open-ended conversation. I think we parents often are looking for a one-stop […]

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  • Our Kids’ Review of the Can Do Kids Fair

    At the recent Can Do Kids Fair we heard many enthusiastic comments from kids and parents in the halls and collected more from the written evaluations, but at least one parent wrote a detailed review of the fair at Our Kids, a site featuring family activities and resources in the DC metro area. Kathleen Seiler […]

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  • Putting a Stop to Whining Parenting Tips from Activity Rocket

    It’s a noise that all parents hear sooner or later, because all children whine. So says PEP board member Rinny Yourman, and we know she’s right. In her article “How to Put an END to Whining!” for the local parenting site Activity Rocket, Rinny describes the extremely annoying voices with piercing accuracy and then details […]

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  • “Good Eats” at the Can Do Kids Fair Kelly Bradley's Recipe of the Month

    Think your kids wouldn’t go for Root Veggie Stew or collard wraps with lentil spread? Think again. Kids devoured those and other delectable dishes they prepared themselves with the help of teen volunteers at the Can Do Kids Fair last Saturday. Kelly Bradley created the recipes and coordinated the “Good Eats” station at the fair, […]

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  • Preparing Kids to “Spring Forward” Daylight Saving Time transition tips

    Of the two time changes each year, the “fall back” one is definitely easier. Who could complain about an extra hour of sleep? Spring is a different matter. Just when high-school kids can finally board the school bus after dawn, and while it still gets dark by the time younger children go to bed, now […]

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  • Kitchen Wisdom: How My Kids Stopped Whining and Started Making Lunch

    Recently I wrote an article for Washington Parent about what a great place the kitchen is for parents—you can give your kids high-quality, positive attention and they get to experience the pride of accomplishment and contributing to the family, all while learning to build a salad or scramble an egg. I wrote about this because […]

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  • Logical Consequences Aren’t Mean–They’re Meaningful (Part 2) Crafting a Logical Consequence

    Logical Consequences didn’t come easily to me (see Part 1), but by copying examples from my PEP class leaders I was getting some encouraging results and feeling more confident—less like a Monster Mommy and more like a Sane, Calm Mommy. But I still yearned to craft a Logical Consequence of my very own. Luckily, my […]

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  • Logical Consequences Aren’t Mean—They’re Meaningful (Part 1)

    I sometimes hear about the terrible struggles parents have with logical consequences. They usually ask something along the lines of: “What is THE right logical consequence for this particular bit of naughtiness I’m staring at this moment, and how soon can I make it work?!” These questions always take me back to the days when […]

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  • When should you give a parent advice?

    As soon as we find better ways to deal with our children’s behavior and notice that positive parenting solutions really work, we want to share them with others, especially with friends and relatives who are clearly doing it . . . um, wrong. But should you intervene and give advice to a parent whose child […]

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  • Parents Talk Parenting

    We’re excited to introduce our new website and this blog! You probably have at least one child in your life who is very dear to you. You’re a parent—or you might be a stepparent, grandparent, teacher, childcare provider, or any combination of those. You might know PEP already—maybe you’ve taken a class or workshop with […]

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