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Welcome to Parenting Sweet! Parenting Sweet is a resource for parents and caregivers, featuring all the great opportunities in our region that make parenting sweet!

Appalachian Promise Alliance is Making Parenting Sweet!

We have tips, information, practices, and parenting classes, sessions, workshops, support groups, seasoned educators, and friendships that can help lighten some of your load and make parenting easier. Wish you had an extra hand? A little help? A hack that makes things a little easier? Wondering if doing something different would help? Check out the Parenting Educator Network opportunities below in the highlights.

   Monthly Fun Poll: What’s something you want to try in the new year?

Parenting Sweet helps us keep our five promises of caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education, and opportunities to serve.

Looking for information or support?

Appalachian Promise Parenting Education Network Programs Find a program that fits your needs! Click to search for free or low cost, morning or evening, online or in-person, first-time or veteran parent/caregiver, and more

Visit to learn more about: The Parenting Education Network, Bristol Family Resource Center, YWCA MOMS R US, Mom Power, Hope House, Frontier Health, Highlands Community Services, Breastfeeding Essentials, Ahh Babies – Appalachian Highlands Healthy Babies – La Leche League Breastfeeding Support, Cherished Mom, Attached at the Heart Classes, Twin City Reads, Buckle Up for Life, Doula by Donation, Sullivan County Family Services, Parenting Sweet, Tricities Parenting, Tricities Babywearing, High Country Doulas, ETSU Family Physicians, Bethany Services, TriCities Babywearing TN, Sullivan County Health Department, Strong Starts, TN Voices, and more.

Practicing gratitude and being grateful are keys to a happier life.

Learn about parenting and find community

The Parenting Sweet is beginning registration for the January 2024 the Attached at the Heart Parenting Program!

Take advantage of the free registration for a limited time, and register yourself, your partner, and any other caregivers:

Life is busy. Parenting keeps you even busier. As a parent, it can feel like your whole schedule revolves around your kids– it’s time to do something for yourself that will benefit the whole family.

Participants will learn about child development and expectations, proven strategies for tantrums and chores, and find support and friendships. Feel confident in your parenting skills and yourself!

PARENTS – Stop the struggling and find support

Join the community of parents and caregivers in our region! We hold weekly Parenting Prime Time meetups on Sunday afternoons at 3:30pm both online (RSVP for online) and in-person (RSVP for in-person) at the Parenting Sweet at 100 Ash Street, Bristol, TN (leftmost outside door). 

This is a judgment-free zone to share stories, ask questions, and gain confidence on your parenting journey. It is also a great place to volunteer and encourage and support other parents. Each week has a topic, but the primary focus is whatever you want it to be. Come relax, vent, and build connections with caregivers experiencing similar situations. Very young children are welcome to join. 

Be sure to RSVP at least eight hours before the meetup time.

Kids who feel their parents are less reliable take fewer risks vital to learning and growth

“If you’re in a resource-rich environment — meaning for a child that you’re safe, your meals are coming, someone is at home for you, you’re surrounded by adults that are protecting you — you’ll try new things,” says Seth Pollak, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of psychology who studies childhood adversity. “And that’s how you discover and learn about the world.”

Be a parenting volunteer

The Appalachian Promise Alliance’s Parenting Network meets the third Thursday of each month at noon and works to support parenting education in our community by sharing efforts, communicating the value and importance of parenting education, and learning more about how we can better serve families. If you are interested in helping teach classes, mentor parents, or have parenting educator updates to share, please contact us at!

Compassionate teens are likely to feel a sense of belonging, study suggests.

When teens feel a sense of belonging and being cared for, they are more likely to show compassion for others, according to a study led by Blake Colaianne, assistant research professor at Penn State’s Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center.

Family Playtime

The Children’s Resource Center’s Family Playtime is spreading across our region! It is now in available in Scott county, Hawkins county, and Abingdon. Join a Family Playtime session near you.

The benefits of playing board games

Connection Learning Losing with Grace Winning with Grace Following Rules Joy and Laughter Strategy Creativity

Board games are perfect for winter months and have so many benefits. Read these benefits and add some of your own!

Are you a grandparent? 


Grandparent Workshop Series Bristol’s Promise will be offering a workshop series just for grandparents of children ages birth to five! Why? We love our grandparents! Whether you are “sharing the care” or a custodial grandparent, we recognize the vital importance of grandparents. If you or someone you know may be interested in learning more about this program, please submit your information here. Questions? Email Lily Royston ( Click to learn more!  

Top board games

Many games can be for all ages with a little help or teams. Board games can often be found at thrift stores for affordable prices!

Candy Land
Chutes and Ladders
Don’t Break the Ice
Hungry, Hungry Hippo
Sorry / Parcheesi

Phase 10
Apples to Apples
Mille Borne

Ticket to Ride

Strengthening Families

The Strengthening Families Program is a family-focused parenting class for parents, grandparents and caregivers. The class includes highly interactive topics geared toward managing stress, improving communication skills, goal setting, solving problems as a family and discipline. The program utilizes role-plays, discussions and family projects along with providing developmentally appropriate examples for common problems from preschoolers to teens.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Paramount Center for the Performing Arts

Join Bristol Ballet for a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s iconic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, live on stage on May 11! The ballet tells the timeless tale of fairy mischief and mortal mayhem. Oberon, king of the fairies, fights with Titania, the queen of the fairies, over a child. Oberon punishes Titania by sending Puck, his mischievous fairy sidekick, to make Titania fall in love with the first person she sees. Puck accidentally meddles with two human couples in the course of his mischief. Thus ensues much confusion between the four mortals as their lives intertwine. Finally, Oberon makes peace with Titania, and Puck rearranges everything back to the natural order. From fairy shenanigans to love triangles to a spellbound donkey, and a lot of drama in between, there are plenty of humorous moments to enjoy

Sat, May 11, 2024
Two shows: Noon and 5:30pm
$11.00 – $23.50 plus applicable taxes and fees

Babywearing Library and Coaching

The Parenting Sweet has a variety of wraps, slings, buckle carriers, and more for parents’ convenience! Come in to try out different styles and learn the best fit for you and your baby.

Contact us at to learn more!

PLAYtime is back starting February 3!

For littles and those who love them.

Coffee & Conversation for Grandfamilies

  • Support
  • Information
  • Resources

Are you a grandparent raising grandchildren? Join us on the 1st Monday of each month at 10:00 AM to connect with other grandparents in similar situations, discuss trials and tribulations, and get information and resources on raising children in today’s society.

Meet at Memorial Park Community Center
(Johnson City).

Audition for The Rainbow Fish

February auditions for this fun show coming to Theatre Bristol!

Details at

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Sullivan County

The organization is looking for mentors age 23+ to volunteer 2-3 hours for 2-3 weekends a month as part of their Community-Based Program.

Theatre Bristol announces spring dramatics classes!

Aspiring actor in your life? Or have a little one who could use some confidence building? Or have a little one who has a lot of imagination? Or have one who would just love a great time with some new friends? Theatre Bristol is registering now for spring classes that run February through March.


MOPS gathers and supports moms. They believe in the simple but revolutionary idea that remarkable things happen when moms come together. The MOPS acronym stands for “Mothers of Preschoolers” because it began in 1973 when a group of moms with young children banded together to share their lives and parenting journeys. Over the past 48 years, MOPS has expanded our community to include moms with school-aged kids. In addition, MOPS is partnering with churches and organizations worldwide to equip and encourage moms in more than 70 countries.

Find your MOPS group:

Mommy and Me/Caregiver and Child Spring Movement Classes

For 12-24 months: Saturdays 9-9:30am
For 2 year olds: Saturdays 9:30-10am

​Bristol Ballet offers Mommy and Me/Caregiver and Child classes, where caregivers can enjoy movement and dance with their toddlers. We offer a class for 2 year olds and their caregivers and a class for toddlers aged 12-24 months and their caregivers. These classes are introductory dance classes that encourage toddlers and their parents to enjoy the freedom of movement together. The classes use a developmentally appropriate curriculum (Discover Dance) to help toddlers develop motor skills, muscle strength, and social skills, while also having fun.

Third Session
January 9-February 27

Fourth Session
March 5-April 23

Appalachian Highlands Healthy Babies (AHH Babies)

From the La Leche League of Bristol, to La Leche League of Mountain Empire, the organization has spread once again to serve all of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee, taking on the name Appalachian Highlands Healthy Babies, or AHH Babies, as they expand their reach. They are here to provide you with free breastfeeding information and encouragement. It is their joy and privilege to introduce you and your family to the importance of Mothering through Breastfeeding.

AHH Babies provides:

  • Mother-to-Mother support
  • Leaders accredited by La Leche League International
  • Latest breastfeeding information

Meetings are a series of four rotating topics, however, no two meetings are ever the same. Join virtually to get your questions answered and/or offer support to other parents.

Visit for meeting schedules!

Free Reading Resources

Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Education to provide at-home reading resources for free to all Tennessee families of K–2 children to help young learners become stronger readers. Based on your child’s grade level, they will receive the At-Home Decodable Book Series, a collection of seven booklets containing 20+ exciting stories full of sounds and words to practice, and age-appropriate, high-quality Scholastic books. Click here to order your kit.

Cherished Mom presents: Mama-U

Join Mama-U and learn about maternal mental health. Plus, get rewarded with a coupon book filled with freebies and discounts upon completion.

For more information, visit or email


Are you or do you know a pregnant or parenting teen in need of support? Then they need MOMS R US!

The YWCA’s MOMS R US program provides both virtual and in-person classes to share education, resources, and encouragement to support teen health, academic studies, and overall well-being.

First-time pregnant and parenting teenagers who are 19 and younger are eligible for free enrollment!

Register online: Email: Workshops offered include Prepared Childbirth and Parenting and Support Group for Teen Parents.

Dates and times will vary based on the need of each teen parent!

Building with the Lions

Families are invited to drop by the Jones Meeting Center at the Johnson City Public Library the second Saturday of every month between 10:30AM – 12PM for Building with the Lions. You can build creations using LEGO blocks and other construction materials. Your creations will be displayed in the Children’s Library. This program is facilitated by the Johnson City Lions Club.

Swim Lessons Year-Round

The Wellness Center of Kingsport still has spots available in their swim classes! Anyone can learn to swim at The Wellness Center – no matter the age or skill level.

  • Group Swim Lessons: Children ages 3-12 | Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30 pm
  • Parent & Child Safety Swim Sessions: For ages 6 months to 36 months and a guardian | Saturdays, 9-9:45 am
  •  Preschool Group Swim Lessons: Ages 3-5 | Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-2 pm
  •  Private Swim Lessons: All ages, adults included | upon availability

Fill out this form to sign up or request more information.

Project Dads

Project Dads is a comprehensive and innovative parenting class for fathers that utilize the 24/7 Dad curriculum developed by the parenting experts of the National Fatherhood Initiative. This program helps men develop the attitudes, knowledge and skills they need to get and stay involved with their children. Topics covered include discipline, working with mom and co-parenting, showing and handling feelings, masculinity, dealing with anger, improving communication skills, stress, substance use, work and more.

Upcoming Parenting Opportunities

Meet other parents and caregivers, gain and give support and knowledge!

  • Registering now for Attached at the Heart 10-week parenting program beginning in January 2024!
  • Mom Power Series by Families Free will be starting sessions over again soon! – FREE, IN PERSON
  • Family Playtime is expanding their services to serve more counties – FREE, IN PERSON
  • Tricities Parenting in-person meetup, Sundays at 3:30PM at the Parenting Sweet – FREE, ONLINE, IN PERSON
  • Prenatal Parenting Series at Ballad Health OBGYN offices and health departments – FREE, IN PERSON
  • AHH Babies breastfeeding in-person meetup on Fourth Tuesdays at the YWCA – FREE, IN PERSON

Visit the Parenting Sweet Program Notion Catalog for Details and Registration or email! Don’t see a class you need? Let us know!

Parenting Sweet is here to help make parenting sweet!

Parents get connected to support and information because learning about parenting and getting support does make a difference. If you would you like to continue receiving Parenting Sweet, you’ll need to be sure to sign up on the website. If you know a parent, caregiver, grandparent, or anyone who cares about children, share the sign-up link with them and help them find all that’s great for children and families in our community. Past issues and all the events are available anytime on the Blog.

Support for this program is provided by Ballad Population Health Community Health Initiative and Bristol Public Housing. Parenting Sweet Team: Samantha Gray, Lily Royston, Susan Turner, Emily Macbeth, Katherine Wilson-Thompson, Melissa Roberts, and Margaret Feierabend. Have information to share? Submit it to


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