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.
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>>
Ten-year-old Johnny bursts into the house at 7:45. “What’s for dinner? I’m starving!” “I can’t believe you’re home late again!” his mom yells. “This is the second time this week! You know we have dinner at seven. We ate, and the dishes are done!” “But, I’m really hungry, Mom. I was having such a good time! I didn’t know what time it was.” Mom sighs. “OK, honey, you can’t go to bed hungry.... read more>>
“You’re always … [uncooperative]!” “You never … [pick up your clothes].” “You make me … [furious].” How many times a day do you find yourself saying or thinking these kinds of things about your kids? Or these kinds of things about yourself: “I should … [be folding the piles of laundry right now].” “I ... read more>>
Very frequently, the question “Why?” serves as a parent’s launching pad for critical or accusatory questioning: “Why can’t you sit still?” “Why don’t you ever listen?” “Why did you do that?” These questions are less requests for information than expressions of parental anger and a form of verbal punishment. The resounding message of disapproval triggers the child’s sense of shame or defensiveness,... read more>>
Definition: Nag: 1. To annoy by constant scolding, complaining or urging. 2. To scold, complain find fault constantly. We all know we should not nag, hate to be nagged ourselves and surely nag our children many, many, MANY times a day. Why do we do it, and what can we do instead of nagging? Clinical psychologist and author of “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee” and “The Blessing of a B Minus,”... read more>>
Editor’s Note: Washington Parent Magazine recently interviewed Katherine Lewis, PEP Parent Educator and author of the newly released book, The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids are Less Disciplined Than Ever and What to Do About It, which profiles many of PEP’s positive parenting methods. Below are some nuggets of wisdom from the interview. You can read the full interview with Katherine Lewis in the July edition of Washington Parent Magazine.... read more>>
Chores: Holy moly begoly, kids can do a lot around the house. They would probably do a lot more if we just chilled out. As in, stop criticizing, micro-managing, doing things over, demanding they care as much as we do. If we thank them for the effort, provide lots of freedom on how to do the new responsibility and just basically all around ZIP OUR LIPS we might be surprised. Now, I’m not saying if you don’t criticize,... read more>>