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Make an impact for parents of adolescents

Fall Appeal 2019_bannerB

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Program for Early Parent Support
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, # 324
Seattle, WA 98103

Just like the infant years, adolescence is a time of intense brain development for children and can be a challenging time for parents. For many years now, PEPS has heard loud and clear from our communities that there is a gap in support services for parents of adolescents and teens. PEPS is uniquely positioned to respond to this need. We will be piloting programming for parents of teens and need your support to make it happen. Your gift will help with hiring a program coordinator, data collection, curriculum development, and evaluation. Please consider making a gift by December 31 so that we can support parents of adolescents in finding connection and community.

Jen's story

I distinctly remember an evening about seven years ago when my neighbor texted me: Could I meet her in the cul-de-sac? Now?

She needed to escape from her two arguing teenage daughters. She needed to breathe, to vent. “Wow, we need PEPS for parents of teenagers,” I said. She agreed. Fast forward to four years ago, when my own kids hit middle school. Angst. Eye rolling. Talking back. Difficult behavior. I felt the overwhelm, and I remembered that conversation.

I have close girlfriends with kids the same ages, including friends from PEPS. We commiserated about being exasperated with the arguing. But we didn’t talk about our failures, successes, insecurities, and bigger theoretical parenting dilemmas. It was hard to make space on the fly for REAL discussions.

I needed something like PEPS.

Scouring the Internet, I found groups for high-risk teens, specific issues or ailments—but nothing for me. As an experienced PEPS newborn group leader, I knew how life-changing a peer support group could be.

So I created my own group for parents of teens and tweens.

We heard stories of eating disorders, psychological disorders, behavior challenges, school troubles, learning disabilities, substance experimentation, peer pressure, relationship struggles, challenging family dynamics, and hormone instability. Most parents didn’t need professional help; they just needed someone to listen: to give a nod, a hug, a new perspective, a resource, or a relatable story. Those who needed help found the courage to seek it.

I have since led three separate groups for parents of middle schoolers, reaching 35 parents. I’m just as grateful to be in the group as they are. And in my immediate area, I see how much greater the need is.

So it makes my heart happy that PEPS is ready to help parents of tweens and teens, too. We’ve been waiting!

Jen Winckler

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