Welcome to PEPTalk! This blog is all about parenting – including tips, great articles and updates on our class offerings. The conversation is for parents and others who want to raise healthy, cooperative, thriving children. Raising children to thrive isn’t easy, especially when those children regularly mess up our plans for their success. We learn the art of parenting from each other, and our PEPTalk blog is here to help—with tips, tools, talk and encouragement—as well as updates about PEP’s many educational programs.
Our bloggers are like our class leaders (many of them are class leaders)—parents who have found at PEP support, inspiration and a sensible road map for the journey. They’ll share their unique perspectives and experiences, connected by their deep commitment to helping you be the parent you want to be. We invite you to join the conversation.
Over the past 6 months, PEP has reached out to a variety of stakeholders to learn how we can more effectively reach, and meet the needs of, today’s parents. We conducted surveys and held numerous meetings with school, community and business partners, parents, and PEP parent educators and volunteers. We learned a lot. We learned there is a large diversity of needs among parents and families, both in terms of issues they seek help with,... read more>>
Your toddler son clears out a grocery store aisle with an hour-long tantrum when his favorite cereal is sold out. Your kindergarten daughter loses points in class for nudging classmates on the carpet, bolting out of line and generally behaving impulsively. Your tween routinely forgets to turn in homework and can filibuster for hours when confronted with a simple parental request to clean his room or set the dinner table. These are the extra-challenging kids who can send their parents into spirals of despair and discouragement.... read more>>
To my 12-year-old daughter, Now that you’re almost a teenager, it’s more and more obvious to me that you are beautiful inside and out. I hope I tell you this often, since it’s frequently on my mind. You and I may be driving to or from a seventh grade party, and you are shining in a new dress, singing your favorite new songs. I take it all in, listening. I like the song “Most Girls”... read more>>
Seven-year-old Amanda pensively chews on a lock of her hair, absorbed by her parents’ rising voices. Meanwhile, her 5-year-old brother stares deeply into his bowl, using his spoon to whip the cornflakes into a mushy blur. “You can’t just toast her another waffle when she doesn’t like the first one you made! You have to be firm, or she’ll walk all over you!” “But the pediatrician said her weight is on the low side.... read more>>
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Teens Smuggle Burner Phones to Defy Parents, shared the Van Every family’s struggle to contain their daughter’s access to a cell phone after hours. The four-year battle began with the then 14-year-old daughter downloading apps such as Kik and SnapChat against her parents’ wishes and objecting to her parents’ limit of no cell phones after 8 pm. The resourceful teen began to sneak her phone out of her parents’ room after hours.... read more>>
Here at PEP, each of our webinars concludes with a 15 minute Q & A session. Last week’s webinar, Communicating With Teens, included questions that are not at all unusual from parents of teens, questions about stinging interactions. For example: “My teen is 15 he’s been calling me disrespectful names, and this mostly happens when I remind him of technology limits. Sometimes I say, “You can’t talk to me that way!”... read more>>
Look around any grocery store across the country and you’ll find preschoolers having full-blown temper tantrums, young children yelling at their parents and teenagers refusing to look up from their phones to help the elderly. Where have respect for others and manners gone? And why has rampant misbehavior replaced common decency? These questions sent author and PEP Parent Educator Katherine Reynolds Lewis on a quest for answers that resulted in her bestselling book,... read more>>
Parenting provides endless opportunities to navigate feelings — those of our children and our own. In last week’s blog post we described one dad’s instinct to put a stop to his son’s anxious feelings, fearing that engaging them would only fan the flames and result in more anxious feelings. Whether we’re dealing with a child, co-worker or partner, we often approach big feelings in one of two ways,... read more>>
This week NPR’s Morning Edition featured a great piece about the role parents should play when dealing with kids and anxiety. The story describes a 9-year old boy who was so anxious about being alone that everyday tasks like bedtime and showering became debilitating. His parents found help through an experimental program at Yale University that treated childhood anxiety by teaching parents how to respond to it. The child’s father, relying on his own childhood experience (as most of us do),... read more>>
Q: My kids don’t fight physically, but they are perfectly awful to one another with their words. Their age difference is such that one is far more capable than the other. By ignoring their behavior, as is often recommended when dealing with siblings, I’m afraid it suggests that I don’t mind them treating each other that way or that I’m condoning their behavior. What do you recommend? A: When there is a big vocabulary difference because of an age gap,... read more>>