PEP Blog

01|07

Navigating the Inevitable: Parenting Potholes

By PEP Staff Writer

“There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk: Autobiography In Five Short Chapters” by Portia Nelson

Chapter I

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost … I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in … it’s a habit … but,

my eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.


Where are you in your parenting journey? Do you find yourself repeatedly falling into the same hole — bargaining, yelling, revoking privileges. Insert your own foible here — we all have them!

Maybe you’re further along and find that you’re able to avoid some pitfalls but still prone to slipping into old patterns of behavior and wondering, “Why do I keep doing this?” or “Why do I always react this way?”

If you’ve taken a PEP class, you’ll occasionally still find yourself in a hole, but now you recognize where you are and how it is that you came to be there — and you have tools, strategies, and most importantly a community of support to help you quickly get out.

The ‘hole in the sidewalk’ is a metaphor for life. Regardless of where we are on our parenting journey, irrespective of the age of our children, it’s never too late to think about how we might do things a little differently. 


This winter, PEP is offering a full complement of classes for all parents, preschool through teens. Join us for a class, in-person or online. With PEP you’ll find a community of support; principles and tools to parent in the moment and for the long haul. Remember, we’re not just raising our children, we’re raising future adults.

Start the New Year on the right foot. Join us!


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