PEP Blog

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.

  • 07|29

    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, as they measure their life and experiences against others’ and question what is normal, anyway. I recently wrote an article for Washington Parent on extra-challenging kids and the frustrations they can bring for parents.... read more>>

  • 07|18

    Strategies for Successful Family Vacations

    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 really did want to take a vacation … as a family … with our children. To go somewhere new together,... read more>>

  • 06|25

    Making “Happy Birthday” More Meaningful

    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 have too much as it is. My kids do not lack for toys, nor do their friends. And as for goody bags–really,... read more>>

  • 06|17

    Your Whole Family Soup & Salad Challenge

    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 easy and fun to prepare. I hope you enjoyed your breakfast challenge.... read more>>

  • 06|09

    What Parents Can Do to Prevent and Stop Bullying

    “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 because they are repetitive, but others are simply immature and mean. What’s the difference?... read more>>

  • 06|06

    PEP in the News

    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 Barnard spoke at length with PEP Education Director Patti Cancellier, who gave PEP’s views on the likely results of punishing a child as opposed to teaching empathy.... read more>>

  • 05|19

    Parenting Education at PEP: Strong Tradition, Bright Future

    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 their assessment and vision. (Photo, from left: PEP Founder Linda Jessup, Cheryl Wieker and Kathy Hedge.) Q: After more than 30 years serving the Washington,... read more>>

  • 05|14

    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 to 12 Year Olds in Washington. Class members and the class leader, Paige Trevor, talked on camera about parenting style and the intensiveness of parenting these days.... read more>>

  • 05|05

    Celebrating Screen Free Week

    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 tips for limiting screen time at the Screen-Free Week website. “Each year,... read more>>

  • 04|30

    No TV, Computer or iPad? No Problem

    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 a week of living without entertainment media. Families are challenged to find a week’s worth of alternate forms of enjoyment,... read more>>

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