Parent & Family Programs

Our Family Resource Center offers information and inspiration for parents, grandparents, and caregivers. Our classes, groups and one-on-one programs help build your network of support, connect you to local resources, and expand your parenting toolbox.  Scroll down to learn more or download our latest program listing.

You and your children are warmly welcome at all of our programs. Most programs are free, there are virtual and in-person options at both day and evening times, and child care is provided at no charge during in-person classes. We hope to see you soon!

Learn About Current Programs

Find program info by clicking one of these buttons, or scroll down for a list of our current programs. Click the + sign to read more and sign up.

PARENTING SERIES & WORKSHOPS | FALL 2021

Active Parenting | Starts Sept. 7 | 5 weeks

Tuesdays, 6-7:30pm | Sept. 7 thru Oct. 5
Online | Free

A five-week series for parents and grandparents of children ages 3-13.

This series will help you understand how brain development affects children’s behaviors and decision-making.  You will expand your toolbox of strategies for positive discipline and effective communication with your kids. Reducing power struggles, winning cooperation, teaching responsibility, and building courage, character and self-esteem are some of the topics that will be covered.

**Please Note**: This series will be offered VIRTUALLY, and you will be emailed a Zoom link before the first session.  The program is free. Advance signup is required, and participants are encouraged to attend all five sessions.

Sign up now

Parenting Journey | Starts Sept. 30 | 11 weeks

Thursdays, 6-7:30pm |Sept. 30 thru Dec. 16
Online | Free

Parenting Journey is an 11-week program with activities and guided discussions to help parents learn more about themselves, their relationships, and the resources they need to effectively parent their children. Groups will be held online.

In a warm and friendly environment, parents are supported and encouraged to care for themselves and each other as they gain insights about the ways that past experiences can influence current parenting behaviors.

  • Identify your strengths
  • Clarify parenting values and goals
  • Gain respect and build trust with your children
  • Become more confident and optimistic
  • Increase your ability to nurture yourself and your children
  • Build a network of support

After you register, you will receive an email to schedule a short intake phone call, and more information about how to participate in the program via Zoom. You will also receive a gift card to purchase a dinner for yourself during the program.

No group meeting on 11/25, Thanksgiving.

Tools for Managing Challenging Behaviors | Oct. 12

Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 6:30-7:45pm
Online | Free

A virtual workshop with Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Ed.D.

Life during this chaotic time can feel like a constant crisis. You do not know what the day (or night) will bring.  Will the morning go smoothly, or erupt into an uproar?  Why does the simple act of going to bed require 30 reminders and two hours of conflict? How do you get your child to “listen” and work with you? And despite all the challenges is it possible to remain calm, meet your own needs and even spend time with your partner or other adults in your life?

Join Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, internationally recognized author of Raising Your Spirited Child and Raising Your Spirited Baby, to learn how small actions can:

  • Bring peace and calm to your family
  • Prevent the morning, bedtime, homework, and other daily battles
  • Reduce the frequency and intensity of the meltdowns
  • Help your family become a “problem-solving family,” cooperatively working together even during the toughest times

The Zoom app is required. Participants will be emailed the meeting link before the workshop.

For more information and resources, visit Dr. Kurcinka’s website: www.parentchildhelp.com    

Parent Recharge | Oct. 13 - Nov. 17

Wednesdays, Oct. 13 – Nov. 17, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Idlehurst School, Somersworth | Free

Join us to recharge your parenting batteries! Parents will meet to discuss the ups and downs of parenting and explore ideas about what it means to create a “strong” family. The children will spend the morning socializing and playing in our beautiful playroom with our child care staff. (Babies under 6 months old will stay with parents in the parent meeting room.)

Open to all parents and grandparents with children ages 0-5. Sign up required. Participants will need to show proof of vaccination. Covid screening, temperature scans and masks will be required.

Get in the Groove: Virtual Parent Cafe | Oct. 19

Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 6-7:30 p.m.
Online | Free

At this Parent Café  we will talk about the challenge of “getting into the groove” of the back-to-school routine. How do you recharge or “groove” to the beat of change?

All parents, stepparents, grandparents and caregivers of kids of any age are invited to reflect and share experiences with others during the friendly, informal but structured Café conversations. Our goal is to to inspire positive relationships, establish boundaries, bring peace to our homes, minimize chaos, and find balance in our lives.  Join us to share your wisdom and experience with others, and to gain tools and insights for strengthening your family.

Co-Parenting and Communication | Starts Oct. 26 | 3 weeks

Tuesdays, 6-7:30pm | Oct. 26 thru Nov. 9
Families First Health & Support Center* | Free

Co-Parenting and Communication: Tools to Connect, De-Escalate, and Improve Your Ability to Talk About the Tough Stuff

Whether you live with your parenting partner or you have separate households, it is important to work as a team to support your children. This can be hard, but it is worth the effort because it leads to greater emotional safety, stability, and consistency for children. This three-week series will offer tools and strategies for better communication with your co-parent. We will  explore conflict resolution, healthy boundaries, structure and flexibility, building on strengths and expressing needs.

*Please Note* This series is tentatively scheduled to be offered in-person in Portsmouth, but changing COVID-19 safety guidelines could change this plan, and it may be offered virtually instead.  We will stay in touch with everyone who signs up to confirm the location, and we appreciate your input on what works best for you.  The program is free, and free child care is provided during in-person sessions. Advance signup is required, and participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions.SIGN UP NOW

No-Drama Discipline | Starts Nov. 23 | 3 weeks

Tuesdays, 6-7:30pm | Nov. 23 thru Dec. 7
Online | Free

This three-week series is for parents, grandparents and caregivers of children of all ages. We will discuss and practice the concepts and strategies outlined by Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson in their book No- Drama Discipline. 

  • Understand how kids’ brains work and what happens when we “flip our lids”
  • Discuss and practice effective communication strategies
  • Support social emotional development in our kids
  • Explore ideas for addressing challenging behaviors (without yelling)
  • Strengthen our connections with our kids and why this matters

**Please Note** This series is tentatively scheduled to be offered in-person in Portsmouth, but changing COVID-19 safety guidelines could change this plan, and it may be offered virtually instead.  We will stay in touch with everyone who signs up to confirm the location, and we appreciate your input on what works best for you.  The program is free and free childcare is provided if it meets in-person. Advance sign-up is required, and participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions.

Parenting Journey in Recovery | Fall 2021

Fall 2021 | dates and times to be announced
Online | Free

Parenting Journey in Recovery is a 14-session group specifically designed for parents in recovery.

This program helps parents explore past family patterns, begin to heal past wounds, and seize the opportunity to take a new path that strengthens recovery, involves personal responsibility and positive actions, while facing the daily challenges of living with addiction.

Parenting Journey in Recovery will help you to:

  • Identify strengths and increase your resiliency.
  • Build greater trust and connections to others.
  • Become more confident in your recovery and more hopeful and optimistic about the future.
  • Understand what it means to be a parent while struggling with challenges of recovery.

This virtual group is meeting on Zoom. Participants will be emailed a link before the first group.
This program is financed under a contract with the State of New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services, with funds provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association.

Questions?  Contact: Will- Wlapian@sosrco.org or Jasmine- Jharnden@sosrco.org 

Sign up to hear when dates are announced

Mind in the Making: 7 Essential Life Skills | Fall 2021

Fall 2021 | dates and times to be announced
Online | Free

Do you want to help your kids learn to take on life’s challenges and achieve their full potential? If so, there are simple everyday things you can do—starting today—that support the development of the seven essential life skills your child needs to thrive and succeed in today’s complicated, distracting world. These include things like focus, self-control, and communicating effectively. These skills are important for adults too, and we have to practice them ourselves in order to help our children. The tools and strategies don’t cost money, they are based on the latest brain science and research, and they will help you feel more confident in your parenting. It is never too late to begin!

The program is 8 weeks and participants are expected to attend all 8 sessions. It is free and free childcare is available with advance sign up if the group is held in person.

Register now, and we will notify you the dates, times and location for the next series. When you complete the form, please let us know if you prefer a virtual or in-person option. Email Patrice with any questions.

Sign up to hear when dates are announced

Positive Solutions for Families | Dates TBA

Dates TBA
Families First Health & Support Center*| Free

This six-week series offers simple tools and clear solutions for parents of children ages 2-10.

This program helps parents understand children’s challenging behaviors and promote their social and emotional skills.  These “friendship skills” are important for happiness and success in school and in life. We will discuss a range of positive approaches that support children’s self-regulation, independence, cooperation and problem-solving.

Session 1: Encouragement and Praise
Session 2: Play and Friendship Skills
Session: Rules, Expectations and Misbehaviors
Session: Controlling Anger and Handling Disappointment
Session: Logical Consequences
Session: Problem Behaviors and Everyday routines

PARENT & GRANDPARENT GROUPS

CHIPS – For Parents & Caregivers of Children with an Incarcerated Parent | Last Monday of each month

Last Monday each month, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Online | Free

Are you a parent or caregiver of a child who has an incarcerated parent? If so, you are not alone. It is estimated that on any given day in America, 1 in 14 children have had–or do have–a  parent who is incarcerated.

This monthly group offers a friendly, safe (virtual) space for caregivers to connect and support one another. We will share information about community resources, ask questions, discuss challenges, celebrate successes, explore self-care strategies, and expand our “parenting toolboxes.”

Participants will receive a $20 Walmart gift card for each meeting they attend. Please contact Patrice if you have any questions or want more information.

This group is for NH residents and meets on the last Monday of every month.  Participants will be emailed a Zoom link before each meeting.

The group is supported by the Family Ties Inside Out Project. Here is a list of other groups for incarcerated parents, also supported by Family Ties and offered by other New Hampshire organizations.

Sign up now

Grandparents Connect | 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month

Tuesdays, 9:30-11am
Idlehurst Elementary School | Free

Parents Connect | Tuesdays

Tuesdays, 9 – 10 a.m.
Online | Free

FAMILY PROGRAMS AND PLAYGROUPS

Family Morning Out Portsmouth | Mondays

Mondays, 10-11 a.m., thru Oct. 25
Community Campus Playground | Free

Family Morning Out is for children ages birth to six with their parents, grandparents or caregivers. Children engage in positive, open-ended play that supports their social skills, language development, problem-solving and creativity… and we all enjoy crafts, songs, conversation and story time together. No sign-up necessary and the program is free. Join us!

The Community Campus playground is located at the rear of the Community Campus Building, at 100 Campus Drive in Portsmouth. Parking is available at the front of the building and access to the playground is around to the left side.

The playgroup will be held in all-weather until October 25th when it will end for the year. When we get settled into our new Families First Portsmouth location we will post updated information about this playgroup, but for now, we will enjoy as much outdoor playtime as we can this Fall!

The group will not meet on Monday holidays: Sept. 6th and  Oct. 11th.

Family Morning Out Exeter | Thursdays

Thursdays, 9:30-11 a.m.
Exeter Parks and Recreation Building, 2nd floor | Free

Family Morning Out is for children ages birth to six with their parents, grandparents or caregivers. Children engage in positive, open-ended play that supports their social skills, language development, problem-solving and creativity… and we all enjoy crafts, conversation, songs and story time together. No sign-up necessary and the program is free. Join us!

We meet during the school year on the second floor of the Exeter Parks and Recreation Building at 32 Court Street in Exeter.

Family Morning Out Epping | Fridays

Fridays, 9:30-11 a.m.
Epping SAU building, Preschool Classroom | Free

Family Morning Out is for children ages birth to six with their parents, grandparents or caregivers. Children engage in positive, open-ended play that supports their social skills, language development, problem-solving and creativity… and we all enjoy crafts, conversation, songs and story time together. No signup necessary and the program is free. Join us!

We meet during the school year in the Head Start classroom in the Epping SAU building at 213 Main St. in Epping.

Family Morning Out Somersworth | Fridays

Fridays, 9:30-11 a.m.
Idlehurst School Playground | Free

Family Morning Out is for children ages birth to six with their parents, grandparents or caregivers. Children engage in positive, open-ended play that supports their social skills, language development, problem-solving and creativity… and we all enjoy crafts, conversation, songs and story time together. No sign-up necessary and the program is free. Join us!

We meet on the playground in front of the Idlehurst School at 46 Stackpole Road in Somersworth. You can park in the main lot in front of the school. We will meet inside as the weather changes, and you can enter through the main entrance of the school.

Connect with Us and Our Parent Community

  • Get help creating a Parent Education Plan to meet your individual needs. Contact Patrice by email or at 603-422-8209.
  • Sign up for a one-on-one  Parenting Chat (phone call or Zoom) to talk about any parenting questions or challenges you are facing. Email Parkie to schedule.
  • Join our ParentsConnect Facebook group You are not alone! All parents, grandparents and caregivers are welcome to join this online community.
  • Subscribe to our Family Focus e-newsletter (monthly) for info on upcoming parent and family programs, parenting tips and ideas, useful links and more.