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Parenting in Difficult Times

As parents reading today's headlines, we can be overwhelmed with worry about a wide range of issues affecting the world in which our children are growing up and how these issues may impact our family and friends.

It is impossible to ignore these issues and our personal concerns about them. Dealing with problems outside of our immediate control makes us tense. Our children can sense this stress and unease. The question becomes; how do we cope with these stresses in a way that doesn’t negatively impact our children?

For parents in PEPS, community connection and emotional support reduces stress. Sharing concerns and learning how others deal with the same challenges is both cathartic and helpful; that's why sharing "highs and lows" has remained an important element of every PEPS Group session for 25 years.

Beyond sharing and listening, there are some practical things PEPS Group members can do to help each other cope in difficult times.

  • Make time for self-care and practice self-compassion.
  • Learn ways you can talk with your children about tragedies in the resources below.
  • Share or exchange childcare within your PEPS Group for an evening out (alone or with a partner or friend) to talk over big-picture worries without children listening. Or, you can use this time out for to self-care, having time alone or with your partner to restore and relax releases tension and clears the mind.
  • Spend more time together. Most PEPS Groups get together outside of their formal meetings to enjoy the simple pleasures of community and connectedness. Some ideas include cooking and sharing meals together, have mini-vacations at each other's homes with weekend backyard camping, complete with shared meals, outings, and a talent show, take your PEPS Group to the beach or park by carpool for a day, with lots of food and toys.
  • You can reach out for professional support from professionals like Perinatal Support Washington.
  • Some PEPS Groups like to give back by volunteering together.
  • Reach out to other supportive groups in your life.

The advantage of being connected is that you know you aren't facing the world alone. So find ways to reach out frequently to your PEPS Group, your friends and families. Share your ideas on how to deal with the ups and downs you experience by emailing peps@pepsgroup.org.


Resources

Updated 07/2016

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