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.
Halloween brings many happy memories including time with family and friends and stuffing oneself full of all kinds of goodies. As parents, some of us struggle with how to balance the fun, the candy and good limits for the holiday. Kids grow, and eventually the cute little pumpkin bag is traded out for the pillowcase. Then what’s a parent to do? As many of us have found out the hard way, if candy is a focus of control it can set us up for power struggles.... read more>>
As any perfectionist will tell you, advice to just “know when good enough is good enough” or “take it easy” fall on deaf ears. Asking a perfectionist to quit being a perfectionist is like asking a bird to quit flying; it’ll never work. Between career, family, friends and romance, the parenting years are the most time stretched years of a human’s life. Perfectionists have a tendency to do something flawlessly or not at all.... read more>>
Julie Morgenstern, an organizing consultant and best-selling author, was named by USA Today as “The Queen of Putting Things in Order.” Her most recent book is Time to Parent: Organizing Your Life to Bring Out the Best in Your Child and You. She will present a webinar as part of PEP’s Noted Parenting Author Series on Thursday, November 15, at 8 pm Eastern. Katherine Reynolds Lewis,... read more>>
The PEP office often feels like a language lab. Amid sounds of a colleague practicing her Japanese for an upcoming trip to Kyoto, we see parents donning their “headsets” and getting to work learning the language of encouragement. Just as we start by learning short, everyday phrases in a new foreign language, equipping parents with encouragement phrases to practice puts the words in their mouth and, eventually, commits those words to muscle memory.... read more>>
Have you ever had the experience of your child trying to get your attention, not succeeding and then taking their efforts up a disturbing notch? I was recently working with a parent who went through this very experience. The question was, “how do we handle these moments in a way that respects both parent and child and also teaches children how to get what they need in healthy ways?” Here’s what happened: This young daughter was trying to get her mom’s attention.... read more>>
Parent: “Time to brush your teeth.” Child: “No!” Parent: “You don’t want to get cavities, do you?” Child: “No brush!” Parent: “Come on, let’s just get this done.” Child: “Noooooo!!!!!” At some point, most young children go on strike from tooth-brushing, clamping their jaws shut and refusing to let their parents come near them with the dreaded brush. There are many reasons why toddlers and preschool-age children sometimes resist having their teeth brushed.... read more>>
Benefits of the family meal According to the FamilyDinnerProject.org, having shared family experiences on a consistent, weekly basis has immense benefits for children, regardless of how fancy the meal is. Studies show that children who grow up having regular family meals have higher academic performance with an increased vocabulary level; improved eating habits and health (including lower risk of obesity); reduction in the high-risk teenage behaviors feared most by parents (such as smoking,... read more>>
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, “Playful Parenting” 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.... read more>>
Eight-year-old Maya begs to stay up later because she wants to watch TV or play a game. Her mother, Isabel, often gives in because she thinks her own parents were too strict, and she wants to be a different kind of parent. Maya often gets cranky and sleepy during the day, and cajoling her leads to frustration and power struggles. Eventually Isabel loses her cool and yells angrily, “Go to bed!” Nathan,... read more>>
“You don’t know what you’re talking about!” “This sucks!” “Leave me alone!” Could these words possibly be coming from the loving angel who used to cling to you, every minute of every day? Raging hormones and a reorganizing brain can make our teenage children temporarily unrecognizable. These physiological changes reduce teens’ ability to regulate and control their emotions and impulses, resulting in negative attitudes and backtalk. But while parents can’t control what’s going on physiologically,... read more>>