PEP Blog


In Honor of Mother’s Day — Strive for Five

By Trish Pannuto

Here at PEP, each of our webinars concludes with a 15 minute Q & A session. Last week’s webinar, Communicating With Teens, included questions that are not at all unusual from parents of teens, questions about stinging interactions. For example:

“My teen is 15 he’s been calling me disrespectful names, and this mostly happens when I remind him of technology limits. Sometimes I say, “You can’t talk to me that way!” This feels stupid to say because obviously, he can talk to me that way, he just did! I also feel ashamed that I’ve raised a child who thinks he can speak to me this way.”

The next morning, we received phone calls from several parents of teens looking for more information and support – this is a tough time of year for teens and their parents. Having been with PEP for many years and as the parent of two, now college-aged kids, what resonated most about these calls weren’t the questions or concerns, themselves but rather the pain, anxiety, fear, and sadness in the voices of the parents. What I would tell any parent is — you’re not alone. Whether you called PEP looking for help or joined the webinar, you’re in good company!

At PEP, we often quote Rudolf Dreikurs who said, “A misbehaving child is a discouraged child.” Straggling behind these discouraged children you’ll inevitably find a discouraged parent. There is no judgment here. Living in the trenches day-to-day with kids, regardless of their age, can be exhausting and dispiriting.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we offer you the opportunity this week to “Strive for Five.” Over the next seven days strive to include at least five of these healthy doses of much-needed encouragement. These ideas, centered on courage, compassion, and connection, are designed to fill your cup and honor what we do as moms.

  1. Take care of yourself. Go to bed a little earlier than usual (i.e., on time), take a walk, get out the yoga mat, swim, dance, sing, paint – do, pretty much anything, that puts wind beneath your wings.
  2. Three good things. Grab a journal and each night at bedtime reflect on your day. Quickly jot down just 3 things that went well for you that day.
  3. Schedule special time with your spouse, co-parent, or a good friend. The pace of parenthood leaves us feeling exhausted and as if there is no time for adult-oriented fun. Two thoughts on this: there is time and it is necessary, schedule something today.
  4. Adopt a mantra. Find something you can hold onto when you’re feeling challenged, deflated, or disrespected. “It’s okay to say, ‘no.'” “This too shall pass.” “I’m doing the best I can right now.”
  5. Honor at least one instance of courageous imperfection. Imperfection looks different for each of us, for some it may be dishes left in the sink or a less-than-healthy dinner, for others, it may be a terse response to a request or not following through on an agreement.

Let us know how it goes — hop on over to our Facebook page to like and share this week’s memes in honor of all the mom’s out there. Happy Mother’s Day!


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Parent Encouragement Program
10100 Connecticut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895

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