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Connection

Group of young teenagers sitting outside in a circle showing each other images on their phones

Teens and Screens: Why The Shift From Control to Connection is Key to Mental Health

We all have well rehearsed parenting phrases that emerge at different stages in our kids’ lives. Usually they pop into our heads or out of our mouths before we’ve even had time to think them through. You aren’t alone if the dominant phrase during middle and high school is, “PUT. THAT. [INSERT TECH DEVICE]. DOWN.”…  Read More

Five Questions That Will Help You Listen (And Learn)

“Wait,” my oldest recently interrupted me. “Aren’t you supposed to be lending me your ears?”  “What?” I responded, annoyed at being interrupted but also momentarily distracted by the image of handing over something akin to the fake rubber yoda ears shoved into our costume bin in the basement. In the time it took me to…  Read More

Group of kids running towards school with their backpacks on

“How Was Your Day?” Talking to Kids About School

“How was your day, buddy?” I asked my third grader after his first day of school. “Thumbs up, down, or something in between?” I prompted.  He put his thumb sideways and kept walking without a word. This kind of ambiguity is challenging for us parents. I managed to respond with a simple, “That makes sense,”…  Read More

Child actively noticing grass below a tree

Why Noticing New Things Is a Path to Mindfulness That We All Need Right Now

“How’s your summer going?” I recently asked another parent at our neighborhood park.  “Good!” he quickly responded. I waited a bit because his face looked less certain than his immediate response.  “No, I mean, good. Everything is good! Kids are good. I’m good.” He went on, clearly second guessing his answer in real time. We…  Read More

Line of teens sitting down looking at their phones

How Involved Should We Be In Kids’ Tech Lives? A New Study Sheds Some Light

“Just tell me how much screen time my kids should have!”  This is often the sentiment of parents I meet who are tired of conflicting advice about kids and technology. I get it. Our risk-assessment capacity is fried, news headlines give us constant whiplash, and we all could use some certainty right now.  That’s why…  Read More

Teen boy laying on bed looking at internet on phone

Why Kids Need Us To Talk To Them About Extremism Online

“My son is on Discord,” a parent recently wrote in an email immediately following the racist killing spree in Buffalo, NY. “Should I be concerned?” I took a deep breath because I knew these conversations were complicated. In the wake of the racist killings in Buffalo, NY last week, each of us has been left…  Read More

Young child looking up into her parent's face.

Kids Don’t Need Perfect Role Models. They Need You.

And Your In-Progress Imperfections.

“All of this talk of modeling always feels like so much pressure!” a parent recently shared with me.  “What do you mean?” I responded. “I just feel like the knowledge that my kids are watching and listening all the time means that I really need to have things together. Which… I definitely don’t feel like…  Read More

Tween using tablet during pandemic screen time

Screen Time Has Gone Up (Again) – What Do Teens and Tweens Need Now?

“The data are out!” I said aloud while scrolling through the feeds on my laptop.  “What data?” my older son asked, briefly looking up from his school issued Chromebook.  “Dataaaa! Dataaaa!” my youngest sang enthusiastically, clearly not tracking the conversation but willing to be a part of it. He continued swiping through activities on his…  Read More

Parent holding their child's hand

Want to Nurture Independence? Share Power.

“Is there such a thing as being too connected?” A parent recently asked.  “What do you mean?” I responded. “Well,” she went on, “Obviously I spent a lot of time with our eighth grader in the past two years. We stayed really close and overall did well managing distance learning and all that. But now…  Read More

Kids walking on a path taking new habits one step at a time

Start With the Family You Want to Be

“Seems like we should just take 2022 one day at a time,” my son remarked when we gathered to do some New Year’s family rituals.  My first thought was, “Wow, a ten year old committed to staying in the present? What a master of mindfulness!” I quickly realized as I looked at his face that…  Read More