Spending Time Not Dimes: Parents Doing More with Less             March 2009
In This Issue

Parents Doing More with Less



Dear Friend,
Our biennial conference is less than two weeks away on Saturday, April 4th.  There are lots of great workshops to choose from, but I want to especially mention our two parent speakers who will set the tone for the day.  Lisa A. is one of the named plaintiffs in the Rosie D. case.  She will talk about her son and her experience with the mental health system.  Rose C. is a PHP board member and a former member of out Walpole group.  She will talk about her own childhood, raising her daughters and her experience with the child welfare and mental health systems.  We are grateful to Lisa and Rose for their willingness to share their stories.  We hope you can join us for the day.

Randall Block
Executive Director

PS=Thank you so much to those of you who donated to our holiday fundraising drive.  We are pleased to report that we raised $68,028 toward our annual goal of $110,000.
Spending Time, Not Dimes: 
 Parents Doing More with Less
It seems impossible to escape the stress and effects of the current state of the economy and parents feel more financial pressure than ever.  During a recent Parents Helping Parents support group meeting, parents shared their ideas of fun and inexpensive (or free) things to do with their children.  When outings like a trip to the movies are too costly, here are some ideas parents offered:
1.  Eat ice cream for breakfast on Saturday morning.

2.  Visit a bookstore, everyone chooses a book to read, then sit in the big chairs and read.  For younger children, you can sit and read with them.  Some bookstores also have scheduled story times for children. Check your local store.

3.  Snuggle in bed on a Saturday morning

4.  Become a playground connoisseur: visit different playgrounds in your neighborhood and other neighborhoods; make the trip there an adventure.

5.  Hug your child and tell them how much you love them.

6.  Have a board game afternoon: invite several friends over and play board games-- you can have two games going at the same time. You play too!

7.  Rent a video from the library and have a popcorn and movie night at home

8.  Cook with your children: bake cookies or make applesauce. For older children, let your child choose the menu for supper and you help them cook. Try to let them do as much as possible.

9. Dance to music together.
Group members also discussed how to help children adjust to family financial situations and not feel deprived.  One mom explained to her children that she doesn't have money to buy what they want in the store but will remember the items when their birthdays roll around.
One young mother summed it up by saying, "I remind my son that some people have a lot less than us.  I remind him that his time will come to get what he wants.  I remind him he can work hard and do something different with his own life, like try not to become a parent when he's a teenager."

Our mailing address is:
Parents Helping Parents
108 Water Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 617-926-5008