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Planning Your Group

Groups can be a little organized or a lot.

A little organization and planning will help make your ongoing group more successful for both parents and children. To get started, talk with your group and make plans for the next few meetings, so that you’re ready:

"Many times in the past 22 years, it has only taken a phone call, and the PEPS moms arrive, whether it's another mom, or one of the kids who need help. Without this group, our lives would be unrecognizable." - Laura M.

  • How often do you want to meet? Consider scheduling at least two dates per month - then if someone misses a meeting, it won't be too long until they reconnect. Some groups choose to meet twice a month: once for a potluck pr outing, once for a parents' night out.
  • Where will you meet? Set up the next few meetings and locations. You can meet in each others’ homes, or go on outings if that works. Talk about helping the host with clean up and refreshments.
  • Brainstorm the topics you want to talk about and plan the next few topics. Ask one person to lead the discussion – maybe they can start the discussion or bring an article or book that they have found helpful or interesting.
  • Will you have snacks?
  • What will you do? Talk about what your format should include: outings with the kids, special events just for parents, meetings with highs and lows, topics, speakers, snacks and socializing, and as the kids get older, activities or arts & crafts.
  • Who’s coming? Will your group have one parent or parents and partners? Are guests okay?
  • Do you want a group leader, co-leaders, no leader? Maybe a coordinator, for communications and topics or speakers?
  • Will the group include activities such as Parents Night Out, Family brunch, BBQs, Holiday celebrations? Schedule one or two of these now for fun and socializing.
  • How should you communicate? Facebook or Yahoo Group or calls & texts?
  • Have an agreement about when a baby or child is sick.

After the first few meetings go, ask how it’s working. A 6 -12 month calendar helps to keep the group together. It’s great to have this continuity to develop traditions like celebrating birthdays together.

If your group runs into trouble, like the meetings stop happening for a few weeks, often it just takes one person to get the group back on track. And if you need help managing issues in the group, read a little about Managing Group Dynamics.

Check out these ideas from PEPS Groups. And, PEPS Resources have many more ideas for Activities and Outings.

This is an important time for your group as you transition to a leader-less format. PEPS Groups that go beyond the first weeks together are a way to build upon the support network and friendships you have begun to develop. We hope that you will continue to be a supportive resource for one another!

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