Ten years ago Bob Stone attended a focus group session on “Why Fathers didn’t engage in programs?” Bob stood and stated “Fathers want to talk to other fathers who understand them and have been through the same things” This phrase is much like the one Jolly K used when she first started Parents Anonymous® over 45 years ago. Bob Stone, father of seven and grandfather to 13, and a few invested pioneer dads, and School Social Worker Jeff Johnson pulled together a group of committed fathers and they began to meeting weekly in the evidence-based Parents Anonymous® group and pioneered a Dad’s Council called “Keansburg Father Time”. Since 2005, this Parents Anonymous® group has been supporting dads and their entire families in the Keansburg/Bayshore area- which includes pockets of poverty. Bob Stone is an ardent Parent Advocate and has presented at both statewide and local conferences on the importance of parent leadership and Parents Anonymous® mutual support especially for Fathers. When Hurricane Sandy devastated his home town of Keansburg, many of his fellow group members or “brothers” as he calls them lost their homes. Bob was there for each and every group member. Bob Stone is an extraordinary, passionate, selfless, tireless individual who lives the principles of Parents Anonymous® each and every day. His peers describe his extraordinary commitment and character as follows: “He made me feel part of the family the first time I met him”, “He extends a real hand to anybody”, and “He’s the man for the job, he handles all of the details, and really cares, especially about kids.”
Timothy is a father of 2 and granddad of one who four years began his personal journey to become an extraordinary Parents Anonymous® Parent Mentor in Oregon exemplifying the principles of mutual support, personal growth, parent and shared leadership®. He first attended a weekly evidence-based Parents Anonymous® group successfully completing his recovery in 2010. He then volunteered as the Parents Anonymous® Group Facilitator and built up a vibrant group serving fathers in Portland. Timothy exemplifies shared leadership® by working tireless to improve family strengthening services by assisting on numerous local and statewide committees including serving as the Co-Chair of the Multnomah County Child Welfare Father’s Advisory Group; Morrison Center’s Equity Council; and trains child welfare caseworkers in Oregon Core Training. Also he encourages other parents to seek leadership opportunities and supports them through their journey of self-discovery. He has a passion for social justice and works daily with families affected by addiction and working to keep families together. Timothy is described by others as a tenacious and exemplary Parents Anonymous® Parent Leader and Mentor, with a compassionate heart and humble demeanor. He is a true shared leadership® asset in the workplace, community and with agencies with an inspirational spirit impacting families.
We are pleased to announce that First 5 California is a co-sponsor of the 2013 Parents Anonymous® National Certification of Parent Leaders. Their generous support has been used for Scholarships for diverse California parents of children 0-5. This historic partnership is complimented by the many County First 5 who have worked with Parent Anonymous® Inc. over many years on Parent Leadership efforts.
Parents Anonymous® Inc is VERY pleased to announce that starting this week on text4baby – the first free texting service to provide health information to pregnant women and new moms from pregnancy through a baby’s first year , moms-to-be in their 17th week will receive the following empowering message:
“Parenting is an important job. Asking for help is a sign of strength. Call Parents Anonymous for free parenting support and weekly groups 1-855-427-2736” connecting them to our National Parent Helpline® and our nationwide network of evidence-based weekly support groups for these over 150,000 moms to be and moms of young children.
Dr. Lisa Pion-Berlin, President and CEO announced that “This is a vital partnership between two important organizations dedicated to parent leadership and mutual support that results in better outcomes for these moms and their babies in our country!” Also, “Every woman deserves access to information that will help her give her baby the best possible chance at a healthy start in life. It’s partners like Parents Anonymous® Inc that are making it possible for text4baby to deliver health messages to those who need them most,” said Judy Meehan, CEO, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.
“As the mother of a teenager, I’m thankful for the support that Parents Anonymous® has given me for the past 14 years. Now I’m very excited to add text4baby to my support system, as we’re expecting a new baby this winter,” adds Heather Thibault, Parent Leader from Plattsburgh NY and chair of the National Parent Leadership Team®, who helped create the text message.
HOW DOES TEXT FOR BABY WORK? Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE for Spanish) receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth. YOU DON’T NEED A TEXT MESSAGING SERVICE ON YOUR PHONE TO USE TEXT4BABY!
These messages focus on a variety of topics critical to maternal and child health, including birth defects prevention, immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health, safe sleep, and more. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services and other resources and the links and information are on their website:https://text4baby.org/
Parents Anonymous® of Plattsburgh, New York is operated by the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country celebrated National Parent Leadership Month by honoring parent participants with flowers and door prizes during group.
Some comments to share from parents when asked “How does attending Parents Anonymous® support groups help you and how do your children benefit from the accompanying Children & Youth program?”
1. It gives us a great time to connect with other parents, especially as a new resident to the area. It also gives us a chance to ask questions about resources in our community.
2. Give me ideas to help me – makes me feel good to be a Mom because other mothers can sympathize and empathize with me. – Gives great ideas for Baby – great to have communication with adults – wonderful program.
3. It’s nice to share experiences with their Mothers and learning from their experiences to try with my own daughter – Being a stay at home mother it is nice for my daughter to play with other children and be looked after by other adults to give myself a break but also learn to respect and listen to other adults.
4. I enjoy Parents Anonymous® because it helps to take stress off my week. It is something I look forward to ever week to talk with other parents and get extra advice. It also helps the children get more exposure to other children and allows them to become more social and aware to other children.
5. Parents Anonymous® has been a wonderful support for me as a mom with two small children. My daughter has grown so much since coming here. It’s been a wonderful experience for all of us.
6. Being pregnant, it allows my 2 1/2 year old daughter to be away from me but have me really close and nearby if needed. As for me, it is great to talk to other Moms going through the same things I am or did.
7. Parents Anonymous® helps me because I can ask questions and get suggestions from people and get answers to things I’m unsure about.
8. The support is amazing. I’ve received great parenting tips for different issues I’ve had with my child. It’s a place to vent and everyone understands and doesn’t judge. It’s a chance to have “Me” time.
To start a Parents Anonymous® Program in your area call Peggy Canning, at
Phone: (518) 561-4999
During the month of February we had over 500 parents and children participate in Parents Leading the Way events around the state organized by Parents Anonymous®!! There were such wonderful candidates for this year’s Jolly K Award making this year’s selection extremely difficult. All of the nominees are incredible parents and amazing leaders in their community.
Thank you to all our affiliates who hosted events, community supporters who helped make the events successful, and parents and children who participated in celebrating National Parent Leadership Month. Here are some highlights of what went on during the month.
COSY Alliance- Southeastern, SC
On February 23, Parents Anonymous® of SC, Beaufort County School District, and Beaufort County COSY hosted a Grandparent’s Leading the Way Conference at Beaufort Elementary school for the community. Conference sessions included information on Internet Safety for Parents by the Beaufort Co. Sheriff’s Office, Parent Child Interactive Therapy by Hope Haven of the Lowcountry, Anti-Bullying Strategies by the Beaufort Co. School District, and New Fads and Trends in Substance Abuse by Beaufort Co. Drug and Alcohol abuse.
Parents Anonymous® – Tri-County Area, SC
Parents Anonymous® worked with the Charleston County Dept of Federal Programs to put on a day conference at Stall High School on February 23rd titled “Health & Wellness = School Success.” Parents attended workshops on Parent Support, Affordable Health Care, Healthy Minds Matter, and Eating Smart and Moving More. Children had their own schedule including a workshop presented by the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. Juanita Ford from Northwoods Middle School won this year’s Jolly K award for her outstanding leadership skills as a parent, grandparent, and parent leader in her school.
Williamsburg County PA Groups – Williamsburg County, SC
Williamsburg County Parents Anonymous® Groups held an evening titled, “Strengthening The Family.” They held workshops centered around self esteem, nutrition, and family connection. During a recognition banquet parents and children reflected on their time spent with each other in the Mutual Support Groups. At the end of the evening everyone celebrated with refreshments and camaraderie. Williamsburg County nominated a parent, Ms. Tonya Johnson for the Jolly K award and even though she did not win this year, we wanted to congratulate her on perseverance and commitment to her family and community. Ms. Johnson thank you for being an amazing parent leader in your group!
Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Assault – Northeastern, SC
On February 21st, Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Assault hosted Parents Leading the Way to a Brighter Future parent training at Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hartsville, SC. Participants received information on “Child Sexual Assault,” (Karen Copeland, Durant’s Children Center), “Mother-read/Father-read,” (Judy Langley, Darlington County First Steps), and “The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children,” (Robin Griggs, Durant’s Children Center). Community partners and information booths were provided by Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Assault, Darkness to Light, Durant’s Children Center, Hartsville YMCA, and Darlington County First Steps.
Foothills Alliance – Northwestern, SC
Anderson County held their Parents Leading the Way Conference including a series of workshops to help parents and caregivers create a better pathway for their families. The day long conference was very well attended by parents and caregivers from the community.
TO START A PARENTS ANONYMOUS® PROGRAMS IN SOUTH CAROLINA CONTACT LISA POTTS, INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR , 843-991-0668, LPOTTS@PAOFSC.ORG
National Parent Leadership Month was celebrated this February in LA County, home of the first Parents Anonymous® Group and Children/Youth Program, with Parents and their children and youth sharing their triumphs and successes. Parent Anonymous® has been serving families in Los Angeles and worldwide for more than 44 years. These extraordinary Parents became resilient and empowered through the shared leadership® and mutual support of the other members of the weekly Parents Anonymous® Program resulting in their successful reunification with their children, increased visitation, positive family relationships, gaining confidence and taking steps for self-improvement.
Parents shared their success in better managing stressful situations and their leadership skills in reaching out and helping others. Furthermore, the children and youth reported successes in school, peer relationships, and examples of giving back in their own neighborhoods. One graduating Senior, who is going on to college, has reached out to many of the younger children in the past 8 years of attending Parents Anonymous® with his family.
These successes have inspired others to make meaningful changes in their lives. As Parents help each other with concrete supports in times of need, families are strengthened and lead to better outcomes for their children. What a wonderful way to celebrate National Parent Leadership Month!!!
Start a Parents Anonymous® Group Now!
Contact: Don Pickens
Phone: (909) 621-6184 x 218
Parents Anonymous® of Chicago with UCAN celebrated National Parent Leadership Month by having candid conversation with group participants. This year’s celebration for National Parent Leadership Month included a question that was asked of all participants: “What does Parent Leadership mean to me?” Parents discussed values they gained, all from their commitment to growth and change; this constitutes leadership for many of them. Moreover, this was the basic theme throughout the 11 groups under Parents Anonymous® of Chicago. However, the topic question was also answered in more detail from Lowden and Altgeld groups.
For example, a member from the Lowden group discussed how the entire group plays a role in Parent Leadership by attending the meetings on a weekly basis. Others talked about the group in general as being one that teaches new skills, such as the sewing classes that involves all members and creates a sense of camaraderie. In addition, the Altgeld group shared more personal reflections to the question.
One member told the story of how she changed her discipline methods with her children. She stopped spanking and started giving time-outs as punishments; a change resulting from the attendance of the Parent Anonymous groups. Furthermore, her parent leadership skills have been passed on to her older children when disciplining their own children. Another member gave an account of how her referral to Parents Anonymous® changed her life. She stated how she gained a wealth of information and knowledge to help her deal with the stress of raising a child that challenged her parenting skills. By this member participating in the Parent Anonymous® group, she was taking control of the matter, exercising her parent leadership abilities. Overall, all group members agreed Parent Anonymous® gave them something to look forward to each week.
Lastly, Parents Anonymous® of Chicago recognizes all parents who make the commitment to come to one, two, or hundreds of group meetings as Parent Leaders in their own right. The group acknowledges the effort as a “sign of strength” and willingness to become better parents. To show appreciation, UCAN provided group members with certificates of recognition and gift cards. Each member also received a Parents Anonymous® pin which honored their leadership and lasting contribution to promising parenthood.
Start a Parents Anonymous® Group NOW:
Phone: (773) 981-0130