A local group is encouraging parents to take time for themselves while offering a place to share stories and struggles. Parent Talk is a monthly meetup hosted by Thread, a childcare resource and referral agency in Alaska. 

On the second Thursday of each month, from fall to spring, Thread provides dinner and free child care while a community expert joins the group to address a specific topic. 

"If we're all in this boat of trying to figure out each of our kids, and parenting in general, we can really connect with each other and really use the expertise in the room and all the experts within the community to support us," said organizer Reanne Queja, who had her first child ten weeks ago. 

This Thursday's session will focus on parent self-care and nourishment. 

"We just have a great opportunity for parents to talk to each other, for the presenter to share some activities, some great knowledge for them," said Queja, adding that there's also a program planned during that time for children ages 2-12.

"They participate in 'little talk', which is a great session. We have some amazing staff at Thread who plan some really intentional activities, they hang out with them, really create some great experiences for kids one-on-one with each other, but then as well with the adults," Queja said. 

Besides parents, Queja recommends Parent Talk for anyone who interacts with children on a regular basis, including extended family such as aunts, uncles and grandparents. 

"Even while I was pregnant I learned so much from the other parents in the room," Queja said. 

This month's Parent Talk takes place on Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. at Thread's headquarters in Anchorage. Registration is available through the organization's website. 

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