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|05

    Wising Up on Kids’ “Why” Questions

    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>>

  • 06|29

    Stop the Nagging: 7 Easy Steps to Break the Cycle

    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>>

  • 06|13

    Advice on How to Self Regulate from PEP Educator and Author Katherine Reynolds Lewis

    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>>

  • 06|07


    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>>

  • 06|05

    The Evolution of Play

    Editor’s Note:  This blog post is not an endorsement of a particular video game or genre of video games; rather, it is shared here to promote a thoughtful discussion.  As children grow and individuate they begin to challenge our values and our ideas, which is a natural part of their development. When it comes to technology, that growth seems to be happening at an earlier age all the time. As PEP teaches in its screen time workshops,... read more>>

  • 05|30

    Are You Really There For Me?

    Why are some couples so quick to respond to their partner with anger or defensiveness?  How can we break the cycle of extreme arousal, pain and more wounding that some couples experience with nearly every interaction? “We can’t stop fighting,” I hear.  “Everything turns into a major blow-up!”  According to Emotion-Focused Therapy’s theory, high reactivity comes from avoiding pain.   Attachment Theory  To give some background, EFT and Imago Therapy are based on Attachment theory. ... read more>>

  • 05|25

    “Begin with the end in mind.”

    If I had one piece of advice I would give my 32-year-old self when my first child came into this world it would be to begin with the end in mind. Today is the official last day of school – secondary school, that is – for my youngest. It’s also a celebration for me as I celebrate the end of my esteemed career as a mom turned consultant to my youngest.... read more>>

  • 05|17


    It won’t be long now . . . .  What? Wait, Paige, it’s May 9th, “whatchyoutalkinbout Willis?” It’s coming sooner then we think. If we have kids at home we know, remember, can anticipate the joys and sorrows of summer. Luck favors the prepared. Devices: Think, where do they live (tip: in public spaces, not in bedrooms, this goes for us too!). Think time boundaries (off by 9, devices live in our bedrooms at night,... read more>>

  • 05|08

    So Sad To Say Goodbye

    The transition from home to college (or another learning experience) is a very big change. This will quite likely be the biggest change your teen has ever faced in his or her whole life. Life changes, even wonderful ones, are invariably stressful and each person handles stressful changes differently. For some kids, the stress of finishing high school may mean sleeping more and even crying more. For other kids, their stress can be expressed as impatience and bad temper.... read more>>

  • 05|04

    Parenting For The Long Haul

    Ahhh, spring. That wonderful season of renewal, color, and sunshine. It’s also the time of year when hundreds of marathon runners begin their weekly training runs. Long-distance endurance events have exploded in popularity in recent years, with millions of people participating in marathons and other long-distance runs annually. The image of hundreds of marathon runners-in- training struck me as I watched my husband set out on a training run recently. The training of a marathon runner is the perfect metaphor for those of us on a parenting journey.... read more>>

Sign Up for PEPTalk

Join thousands of parents like you who have found positive alternatives to nagging, yelling, and bribing with PEP! Sign up today and receive our exclusive “Mornings Without Mayhem” Tip Sheet.


Parent Encouragement Program
10100 Connecticut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895