New workshop in development! Click here to contact Carlita Singletary at for more information. Is COVID-19 affecting your mental health?? Help is available 8 am – 8 pm 7 days a week. Text NJHOPE to 51684 or call 862 202-HELP

Jan 2020: Science of Happiness podcast, Flu prevention, Saying ‘no’ to your children

Welcome to the third edition of Let’s Talk, COPE’s new monthly parenting newsletter. This newsletter is intended to keep you up to date on parenting-related news, offer useful parenting tips, and provide you with insights via  various topics from our website SPENJ.ORG

This edition features podcast on the science of happiness, a tip on keeping your family flu free (we’re all concerned about the new coronavirus) and an article intended to lend support when you have to say “no!”Please let us know what you think of our newsletter – just drop an email to or  Send us any topics or issues you want to learn more about.  We want this newsletter to be informative, useful, timely and worthwhile, so your feedback is very important.   And if you’re not receiving the newsletter directly from us ( and would like to “subscribe”, just shoot an email to the addresses above!

Thanks.Susan, Ruth, Logetty, Sharlene and CarolCOPE’s Parenting Team


Recent parenting news you may have missed:

As if we werent all already worried about this years very unpleaseant flu varieties, now we have the Wuhan coronavirus to keep us awake at night. Click here to read the CDCs Healthy Habits to Prevent Flu.  If youd like a reminder to stick on your refrigerator, heres a pamphlet from NY State Department of Health (And keep reminding your family to wash their hands!) 

++++++++++++++++++++January’s featured parenting tip:

Looking for an antidote to the stress in your life and the 24/7 news cycle?

Try the podcast The Science of Happiness.  Learn research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life, drawing on the science of compassion, gratitude, mindfulness, and awe.

Episode 56: How to Make Time for Happiness


The Tip of the Week is updated on the website every week or two during the school year.  Click here to see the current Tip.   

February parenting workshop:  Parenting as a Team

February 8      10:30 am – 12:00 pm Union Congregational Church, Montclair

February 16 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm West Orange Public LibraryClick here for flyer with details and registration information (pre-registration is requested in case of schedule changes).  


January’s featured article:

Setting Limits:  Why saying no may be the most important gift you give your children

It’s hard to say no. Ask any parent of a young child, especially when it has been a long day at work, near the end of a long, rainy weekend day, or in the cookie aisle of the supermarket. There are plenty of times when it feels easier just to say “yes” just to get a little peace and quiet. These are the times to refocus yourself and remember just how important it is for children to have clear, consistent limits.         

When parents set boundaries and expectations, they are helping their children feel safe and secure. If the rules are clear and children know what is expected of them, they learn not only how to regulate their own behavior, they also learn what your family values are.

This doesn’t happen overnight. When you begin establishing rules and limits and consistently making your expectations clear over time, you are providing your children with a toolbox of skills they can use to navigate the emotional and behavioral challenges they will face throughout their lives. 

It’s both impossible and undesirable to manage setting limits at all times and in all circumstances. What matters most? Protecting your child from harm, looking after personal property, respecting and caring for other people—these are commonly-held principles for everyone.

The limits and boundaries you set depend on what is most important to you as a family; while the guiding principle remains the same (“A good night’s sleep is important”), the details (actual bedtime) will of course change over time as your child develops physically and emotionally.  Click here to read the entire article.

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons: What Making Mistakes Teaches UsSaying “No!” and meaning it a big part of parenting; equally important is how you frame conversations about your child’s mistakes.  Turn making a mistake into a problem-solving opportunity. Brain science research tells us that making mistakes can help us learn. Doing it wrong should send the message to work harder to get it right, not discourage you from trying. Click here to read the entire article. 
More Info on Setting Limits

Remember that children learn by pushing up against limits; as a parent, setting those limits and holding firm isn’t conflict. The boundaries parents set for their families keep everyone safe, reinforce a family values, and teach children how to live with others.

For toddlers and young children:  It’s all about safety and establishing a routine for babies and very young children, but even when speaking to young children, how you communicate these limits is important.  Click here to read the entire article.

For older children and teens:  It’s important to keep your cool when talking about limits with older children and teens. Not only are you teaching self-control and responsibility, as a parent, you’re modeling that behavior.  Click here to read the entire article.


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