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.
Perhaps you have seen the viral video of the toddler who liberally applied permanent Sharpie markers to himself and then to his sibling? Or the mischievous tot who dusted the entire kitchen and himself in a fine layer of flour? Do you ever wonder how their moms reacted before they picked up the smartphone to capture the event on camera? Did they lose their tempers? Or maybe it was Dad who first encountered the chaos.... read more>>
This time in our lives is fraught with sadness, fear, exhaustion, anger, incredulity — you name it. As a result, it’s easy to become short-tempered and reactive, even with those we love and cherish. In our classes, we often talk about the concept of a “do-over,” as in “Ooof, that sounded harsh; I’m sorry, can I have a do-over?” Hitting the rewind button is important for several reasons: We’re courageously modeling our imperfections;... read more>>
Even before COVID-19 forced the likelihood of online college this fall, many American high school students were considering a pause between walking the stage at graduation and decorating their college dorm rooms. Though still not as common as in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Israel, the number of gap-year students in the U.S. has steadily increased over the past several years. “We tend to be on a fast track in America,” explains Rae Nelson,... read more>>
Lately, life feels like a mobile trying to remain balanced in a (hot and humid) gale-force wind. I’ve been thinking about mobiles as a metaphor for life. Suspended from the ceiling, they artfully demonstrate a balance of forces. Without any outside forces acting on them, mobiles are at rest. But life is rarely that stable, there is always some force at play that impacts our calm and stability. So, too, with a mobile. Because the pieces are connected,... read more>>
Chances are, you don’t always enjoy playing with your child – especially when you are busy, tired or the imagination game she likes to play isn’t your idea of fun. It can be hard to let go of your to-do list and play even for ten minutes. “Playful Parenting is a way to enter a child’s world, on the child’s terms, in order to foster closeness, confidence, and connection.” -Lawrence Cohen,... read more>>
Most American teenagers dream about growing up and moving out of their childhood home after high school, eager to experience the fun and excitement of adult independence. The reality, though, can be quite different. Twenty-first century challenges, including high student debt and housing costs, brought one in four young adults home to live again with their parents. Today’s COVID-19 pandemic, accompanied by social quarantine, university closures and high unemployment means that even more young adults are living again with their parents.... read more>>
Raindrops on roses And whiskers on kittens Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens Brown paper packages tied up with strings These are a few of my favorite things Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein (“Favorite Things,” The Sound of Music) Kids on screens past bedtime drives Daddy crazy Backpacks on floors,... read more>>
We are living in extraordinarily difficult times that raise uncomfortable, yet critically important, questions about ourselves and our country: how we treat each other, how we are protected from harm, and how we live together. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others named and unnamed, pain our hearts and our minds. Our emotions of sadness, frustration, anger, fear, rage, and hopelessness stem from a spectrum of issues, ranging from not knowing where to begin to solve the problem to facing the danger of being a Black person in America.... read more>>
As the parent of a high school junior, I am frequently hearing well-meaning adults suggest that our teens take full advantage of this time to learn a new hobby or start a project or some other grand idea that they can write about on their college applications. For some, this may be a welcome suggestion. My son told me to back off. He was right. Adapting to a global pandemic is a huge enough life event all on its own.... read more>>
Anyone else getting questions from your kids about seeing friends, girlfriends, going out? This is going to be a long post. Heads up, if you think scrolling to the end will reveal the answer, it won’t. I have two thoughts on this. First, there isn’t one right answer as we’re navigating a situation we’ve never encountered before, and the answer will be different for every family. Second, I wouldn’t want this to sound like a recommendation;... read more>>
Parent Encouragement Program
10100 Connecticut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895