COPE's free parent workshops will resume in October. In the meantime, check Topics for Parents for information on those (and other) topics.

Parenting and Partners

The skills you need to be the best parent (and partner) you can be.

  • Nurturing yourself.
  • Understand and manage your emotions.
  • Clarify what values are important to you and your family.
  • Get and stay on the same page with your co-parents.
  • Maintain and enhance your toolbox of parenting skills.

Managing Emotion and Mindfulness

Workshop: Emotional Regulation

  • What is emotional regulation and how might it be relevant for you and your family?
  • Develop the skills needed for managing emotions under all circumstances which will aid you in successfully keep your cool when in crisis mode.
  • How to use self-calming strategies to reduce emotionally induced stress.
  • Explore how helping our children manage their emotions effectively is a key building block in family communication, school success, and positive peer interactions.
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Pocket Reference

Workshop: Mindfulness: Managing Seasonal Stress

  • Use mindfulness techniques and self-calming strategies to manage stress
  • Better understand, tolerate, and deal with your emotions in healthy ways by using techniques to alter habitual responses by pausing and choosing how you act.
  • Explore how helping our children manage their emotions effectively is a key building block in family communication, school success, and positive peer interactions.
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Pocket Reference

In-depth articles

Setting Limits, Dealing with Conflict, Listening and Responding

While all children need guidance and boundaries, it can feel like life with children of all ages is a 24/7 battle. Fortunately, there are some concrete skills that can help.  Review active listening strategies and how this “soft skill” has value for your children both in and beyond the family.

Workshop: Communications and Boundaries

  • Why having boundaries are so important.
  • Help to define your family’s limits.
  • Learn how to “pick your spot,” communicate it clearly, and stick to it.
  • Active listening strategies
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Pocket Reference

In-depth Articles

Workshop: Managing Conflict: Keep Your Cool and Make It a Teachable Moment

Techniques for navigating the conflicts that are a part of all families’ lives. Learning how to recognize and manage your own anger is an important step in becoming a better role model for your child.

  • The impact of a parent’s behavior on a child’s
  • What triggers anger, and ways to express and control it in non-explosive ways
  • Better understanding how to manage stress
  • The effects of anger on the parent-child relationship
  • Ideas for improving outcomes after family conflict
  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Pocket Reference
  • Feelings Thermometer

Podcast:  Managing Conflict

In-depth Articles

Parenting Fundamentals

Stay at the top of your parenting game by refreshing the tools, techniques and skills you need to be the best parent you can be.

Workshop: Positive Parenting Skills

How the essential elements of effective parenting provide a happy and stable environment for your child to develop as independent and resilient individuals.

These include:

  • Developing a strong parenting partnership
  • Increasing positivity through play
  • Setting limits (including discipline)
  • Communication strategies to provide structure to family life
  • Navigate conflict and understanding the emotional triggers that challenge the parent-child relationship
  • Use the tools of mindfulness to manage emotions in a healthy way
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Pocket Reference

In-depth Articles

  • Podcast: Skills for Good Parenting (under development)

Workshop: Parenting as a Team

  • Effective parenting is much easier when you and parenting “partners” are working from the same playbook.
  • What are the advantages and barriers to parenting as a team.
  • How to improve parents’ ability to “be on the same page”
  • Addressing special situations such as integrating other family adults or coping with a co-parent who is absent or refuses involvement.
  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Pocket Reference

Workshop: Parenting Styles and Kids’ Temperaments

  • How much of the frustration you feel as a parent, and the conflicts that your family experiences, are a result of a mis-match between your parenting style and your child’s temperament?
  • There are four basic parenting styles; identify where you fall and what that means to your interactions with your family.
  • Assess and understand your child’s temperament.
  • Learn to modulate your parenting based on your child’s temperament and your parenting style.
  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Pocket Reference

Related Articles of Interest



Scrolling tows

While we should all know how to recognize the warning signs of mental warning signs of mental illness, it is equally important to build our children’s emotional resiliency. Feeling good about ourselves and using positive coping strategies when faced with challenges ourselves not only models healthy behavior for our children, it enhances our own emotional well being. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides tips for every day life that promote children’s social and emotional health.


When talking to your child about boundaries and consequences, be aware of HOW you speak to your child. Instead of starting with “If you do…” start with “ When you do X, then…” This reinforces that there are consequences for the choices they make.


Replace “I have to…” with “I get to…” when thinking about the responsibilities of parenting. This attitude reset can make all the difference. , In her article “A Three Letter Word for More JOYFUL Parenting,” Amy McCready reminds us that the time we have with our children is fleeting. Remembering this fact is a great attitude reset, both for yourself and to model for your child.


Every relationship has an emotional bank account. Make deposits by keeping promises, being loyal listening, apologizing and setting clear expectations. This will give you a cushion in time of tension, conflict or crisis. When you and your partner have a healthy balance in your emotional bank accounts, you will both be better parents. If you need investment advice, there is a workshop on November 5th. Click here to learn more.


When you’re having a hard conversation, you can dial back the tension by using “I” statements to communicate what you find problematic about his or her behavior. Say to your teen: “I find it troubling that you didn’t respect our family’s rules.” When you express your views it helps to keep the conversation productive rather than confrontational. Click here for more suggestions for improving communications.


Don’t Hold It All In: talking about your feeling can be a scary and uncomfortable step but it is a great way to deal with any problems that you have been worrying about in your head. Holding in emotions can cause stress, depression, anxiety and, affects your physical health. You can talk to a family member or someone you know. If you feel like there is no one that you can talk to it is a great idea to reach out to a counselor.


Give Yourself a Break: often we are running around handling all the many things that need to get done in days that are not long enough. Even a five-minute break to gather your thoughts and not worry about what needs to be done is a good way to help lower stress levels. Taking a break can mean different things for everyone, some may choose to be active while others may need time to relax, either way it is important to make time for yourself in your routine.


Don’t be afraid to ask for help: sometimes people see asking for help as a sign of weakness when it is in fact the exact opposite. Knowing that something is wrong and reaching out to a counselor, family member or, a friend takes a lot of strength and courage. Everyone gets overwhelmed at times and some may need some outside help to understand why. The quicker one addresses their emotions the quicker one can get the appropriate help they need to start feeling better and living a happier life. By the same token, if you see someone close to you struggling, ask if you can help; sometimes that simple question lets them know that someone else cares and it can make all the difference. The Cope Center can help you find a counselor if you don’t know to whom to turn. (embed link in “The Cope Center”)


Are you running out of steam? Summer is supposed to be a time when everything and everyone slows down. As a parent, it probably doesn’t feel that way. Here are some ideas for giving yourself, and your family, some time and space:

  • Slow cooker meals: make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for next week.
  • Plan ahead and enlist the entire family in shopping and preparing the week’s snacks and quick meals. Store them in the fridge and freezer where everyone knows where to find them. Have an at-home picnic once a week with utensil-free food (think dinner on a bun with cut up veggies and fruit).
  • Experiment with cutting the cord: try using the limiting app yourself that you’ve installed on your child’s phone; park your phone when you go for a walk; turn off notifications on your phone, even better delete social media apps that make it all too easy to constantly “check-in.”
  • Take a news vacation. You’re not any less committed if you only watch the news once a day instead of 24/7.
  • When you go on vacation, make a pact with your family to unplug together. Extend the feeling once you’re home by designating times during the week when everyone turns off their devices.
  • Enlist other family members in the housekeeping chores you always seem to do yourself. With fewer other commitments, it’s a great time to make those tasks part of their routine. Make a chart or job wheel and maybe even offer rewards (a trip to the ice cream shop?) for getting their job done without having to be asked.
  • Schedule some down-time for yourself. If it seems impossible, find a friend and offer to take turns getting some time off while the other person covers.

Be sure to check-in with yourself before and after trying out some of these suggestions to see if they’ve helped. Sit down on the front steps or back porch, take a few deep breathes, reflect and let the summer seep into your bones.


A Parent’s Sixth Sense: Getting Help When Something Just Not Right With Your Child

By now, the routine of the school year has been established, it may be a good time to step back and think about how your child is doing, both academically and emotionally. All children face challenges, and like adults, kids have good days and bad. If when you ask yourself how your child is doing, it feels like their difficulties are interfering with their ability to function normally, it might be a good idea to reach out for help.

Is your child having difficulty at home, in school, with friends or within the family? Are those difficulties affecting their ability to eat or sleep? Are they having a hard time in situations where they used to be okay? Are these problems significant enough that are causing your child or other family members distress? If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, reach out to a professional, like your pediatrician, school counselor or clergy. The Mayo Clinic explains about recognizing warning signs in children. Contact the Cope Center if you need help finding the right resources for your family.

There are many reasons why children struggle with school work, but if it seems like “something isn’t right,” trust your instinct and check in with your child’s teacher or counselor. If your child does have a learning disability, early intervention is critical to getting the right support in place. Click here for a useful resource is from the Learning Disability Association of American explains the range of learning disabilities and disorders.

The important take-away is that you, as a parent, best knows your child. Trust your instinct and when something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Mayo Clinic article:


One cliché of parenting is the parent who complains that no-one else helps around the house. Every time you do the job that you’ve been nagging your child to do, not only are you making more work for yourself, but you’re reinforcing the lesson that they don’t have to do it. They are learning that procrastination pays off.

Time for a parenting re-set. Once you’ve told a child to do something, you can’t do it for them! Next time your child disappears without hanging up her coat, fails to empty the dishwasher, or doesn’t put his dirty clothes in the hamper, STOP!!. Don’t do the job yourself and don’t yell up the stairs. Instead, track down your offspring, remind them of their responsibilities, and supervise the task to completion. If you fail to do this, you are teaching your child that your commands are meaningless.

You should also give some thought to consequences. They might be trivial, like leaving the laundry on the floor and shrugging when your son complains that his favorite t-shirt isn’t in the drawer, or more serious, like telling your daughter that she can’t go to the mall with her friends until her chores are done. Don’t let the moment pass because it feels easier to let it go; it only gets harder and you’re not doing your child any favors by skipping this opportunity to teach responsibility.


The holidays are a hectic time of year, filled with gatherings and celebrations with family and friends. Don’t forget to be a role model for your children, especially teenagers. It’s a time for greater care and responsibility as well as merriment. If you’re going to be drinking at a holiday party, make a plan for getting home safely ahead of time. Talk about who is going to be the designated driver or if you’re going to use a ride sharing app to get home. Know your limits: use this interactive calculator to determine your blood alcohol level, based on your weight, alcohol consumption and hours spent drinking.

Check out the website Rethinking Drinking for taking a look at your drinking habits and how they affect your life.


June 2018