Next PAPA Meeting - Thursday, October 18 @ 7:00 p.m.http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ParentsAgainstParentalAlienation/ WHAT: Next PAPA Meeting WHEN: Thursday, July 19, 7:00 PM WHERE: Framingham Civic League, 214 Concord Street (Rt.126) - Framingham, MA. We're in a convenient location , just ten minutes from Mass Pike Exit 13 on Rt. 126. Bear right at the pike exit after tolls onto Route 30 Go about 3/4 of a mile to the light past the post office and make a left onto Concord Street (Rt.126.) Go over Rt.9, and #214 is the Framingham Civic League. There"s a lot just past the building. COST: $20.00 or what you can afford. Refreshments served. MODERATOR: Jeff Parks, LMFT -- call (508)-561-8186 for information/directions Dear Members and Supporters of Shared Parenting! "Stress-busting" is the topic of our next PAPA Meeting. Please join us this Thursday as we discuss the STRESS of parenting, and how to use it in positive and productive ways. Under any circumstances parenting can be the toughest (and most rewarding) job going. For non-custodial parents, multiply the stressors and subtract the resources, and you see the challenges we face. The October meeting will focus on parenting and self-care – the antidote to toxic stress. Many PAPA members have learned what it takes to care of ourselves in the most adverse of circumstances, and want to share it with you! Adversity, like stress, can teach us many lessons, starting with a realization that we are stronger, more resourceful, and most of all more loving than we know. Achieving the best outcome for your children requires taking care of yourself. That"s no small task when you encounter the typical frustration and confusion resulting from thwarted efforts to protect and love your children. How do you honor the protective instinct and loving feelings you have when you"re being blamed for causing the problems to the one thing in life that"s most important to you? It"s no wonder so many non-custodial and alienated parents give up and go away. At the meeting (as well as in our online listserv) you"ll be able to share your frustrations (most of our problems are common to others), and learn what you can do about them. There are strategies that work more effectively as many of us have learned, starting with in taking better care of ourselves. Our group works in part because we have members who are at different stages of separation/ divorce who have worked hard at learning what healthy coping is. Preserving our sanity in a world that is not very rational or safe often requires doing what is counter-intuitive. It"s often hard to believe, but it does get you to a better place in the role long run. Our Meeting will offer you practical approaches to managing parenting stress in order to prevent and respond to PA/PAS. There are skills many of us have learned in being more patient as we increase our acceptance of the situations we cannot immediately change. We"ll discuss how to relax more effectively, maintain a rational response in the midst of an emotional storm, and really put the past in the past. Being in the present is critical in coping with the pressures we face. We"ll discuss the importance of being organized and realistic in your expectations (starting with yourself). The importance of having balance in daily living and especially remembering to exercise cannot be understated, like having a proper diet and not abusing alcohol. Getting enough sleep in having a daily routine and as consistent a schedule as possible is also essential. Exceptions can be made for Red Sox playoff games. I"ve learned that "what doesn"t kill you makes you stronger,' but only if you realize that you are a work in progress. Making time to come to the meeting this week can benefit you and your child in ways that may be hard to see, but will prove to be real. Knowing that you"re not alone and that new, more successful strategies are possible is the best stress-buster of all. PAPA meetings are open and we welcome newcomers to the meeting. You"ll be among friends who understand what you"re going through. We know how hard it is to be a warrior in the battle for the hearts and minds of our children. We"ve also learned that nothing in life is more important. One more thing please. While the PAPA meetings are always on the third Thursday of the month, every Thursday except for the third week, I meet with fathers in an open group forum between 730 and 9:30 PM for a nominal fee. The meeting, at my office, 40 Speen Street in Framingham, brings together men looking to make the transitions in their family life as successful as possible. Please call me on my cell at (508)-561-8186 for more information regarding the fathers group or PAPA. Thank you, Jeff Parks.