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.

  • 11|25

    Flex the Muscle of Kindness This Thanksgiving

    Here at PEP, one activity we do early on in many of our classes is the “Out of the Nest” exercise. In this group exercise, parents brainstorm a list of qualities they might like their children to have by the age of 18. Below is an actual list generated by one class. It’s typical of those brainstormed by most parents — whether they’re parenting preschoolers, school age children or teens. Independent Cooperative Kind Healthy Self-Confident Resilient Have self-worth Happy Use good judgment Curious Responsible Apparently,... read more>>

  • 11|13

    Middle School Matters: 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond

    Middle School is full of angst, for our kids and for us! As parents, we are suddenly filled with self-doubt. Should I stay involved and continue to volunteer at school? Do I chaperone field trips — my kid LOVED that in 3rd grade? Alternatively, do I totally back-off and give them lots of space? Are sleepovers okay if I haven’t met the parents? What about devices and social media? How much homework help do I give them?... read more>>

  • 11|04

    About That Report Card…

    Where did the fall go?! Here in Montgomery County, Maryland, Friday marks the end of the first marking period for county school students. This presents parents the opportunity to practice our encouragement skills as we consider how we’ve handled report cards in the past and how we might do so a little differently this time. Keeping in mind that kids are excellent observers but poor interpreters,... read more>>

  • 10|25

    Avoid These Top 10 Ways to Embarrass Your Tweens and Teens

    Editor’s Note: This list was excerpted from an article, It’s My Life — But My Parents Won’t Butt Out! that appeared in Washington Parent magazine in September 2019. After you finish chuckling, read the article to learn how to help your tween or teen navigate their social life!  Are you looking for the fastest way to build a wedge as large as a crater between you and your child?... read more>>

  • 10|18

    3 Steps to Conquer 21st Century Parenting Challenges

    Have you ever dressed your 4-year-old because you can do it faster, or told your 7- year-old she has to wear a coat when she says she isn’t cold? Can I get a show of hands of other parents who have “helped” their fifth grader on a Science Fair tri-fold board because we can cut straighter and center the background paper more evenly? Who can join me in having our tween’s long-term assignments on OUR calendar?... read more>>

  • 09|10

    Building New Pathways to Meet Parents Where They Are: PEP’s New Strategic Direction

    Over the past 6 months, PEP has reached out to a variety of stakeholders to learn how we can more effectively reach, and meet the needs of, today’s parents. We conducted surveys and held numerous meetings with school, community and business partners, parents, and PEP parent educators and volunteers.  We learned a lot. We learned there is a large diversity of needs among parents and families, both in terms of issues they seek help with,... read more>>

  • 06|19

    Parenting Extra-Challenging Children

    Your toddler son clears out a grocery store aisle with an hour-long tantrum when his favorite cereal is sold out. Your kindergarten daughter loses points in class for nudging classmates on the carpet, bolting out of line and generally behaving impulsively. Your tween routinely forgets to turn in homework and can filibuster for hours when confronted with a simple parental request to clean his room or set the dinner table. These are the extra-challenging kids who can send their parents into spirals of despair and discouragement.... read more>>

  • 06|14

    A Father’s Letter to His Daughter

    To my 12-year-old daughter, Now that you’re almost a teenager, it’s more and more obvious to me that you are beautiful inside and out. I hope I tell you this often, since it’s frequently on my mind. You and I may be driving to or from a seventh grade party, and you are shining in a new dress, singing your favorite new songs. I take it all in, listening. I like the song “Most Girls”... read more>>

  • 06|04

    When Parents Disagree About Raising Their Children

    Seven-year-old Amanda pensively chews on a lock of her hair, absorbed by her parents’ rising voices. Meanwhile, her 5-year-old brother stares deeply into his bowl, using his spoon to whip the cornflakes into a mushy blur. “You can’t just toast her another waffle when she doesn’t like the first one you made! You have to be firm, or she’ll walk all over you!” “But the pediatrician said her weight is on the low side.... read more>>

  • 05|23

    A Teen and a “Burner Phone”

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Teens Smuggle Burner Phones to Defy Parents, shared the Van Every family’s struggle to contain their daughter’s access to a cell phone after hours. The four-year battle began with the then 14-year-old daughter downloading apps such as Kik and SnapChat against her parents’ wishes and objecting to her parents’ limit of no cell phones after 8 pm. The resourceful teen began to sneak her phone out of her parents’ room after hours.... read more>>

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Parent Encouragement Program
10100 Connecticut Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895