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Tip of the Week

Friendship is powerful

Having a network of friends and family you can count on reduces stress and makes life’s challenges feel a little less burdensome.

A recent study at the University of Virginia showed that students who were accompanied by a friend while carrying a heavy backpack up a hill thought that the hill was less steep than someone walking up the hill alone.

If you’re feeling isolated – parenting can feel awfully lonely sometimes – here are some ways to reach out to other people:

  • Volunteer. Pick a cause that’s important to you and get involved. An easy one: get involved in your child’s school parent association.
  • Join a gym or fitness group. Becoming a regular is a great way to start to connect with people.
  • Take a class. Check out the Montclair Adult School.
  • Cultivate and nurture your relationships:
    • Stay in touch with friends. Make time to return calls, messages and emails; set up a regular time to meet up with friends.
    • Don’t compete. Be happy instead of jealous when your friends succeed.
    • Be a good listener.
    • Don’t overdo it. Be careful not to overwhelm friends and family with phone calls and emails. Save those high-demand times for when you really need them.
    • Express gratitude. Take time to say thank you and let people know how important they are to you. Be available for family and friends when they need support.


Supporting Parents of Essex County, NJ is a website sponsored by the COPE Center, that offers Essex County, NJ families a comprehensive source of information about events, programs, and resources. Focusing on local resources, we are families’ first stop to find up-to-date parenting advice, the go-to website to find parenting works and programs that parents need to navigate the challenges of twenty-first century parents in a world where we are bombarded with information. You can have confidence that the Supporting Parents of Essex County, NJ website will lead you to information that helps you make the most of family life.