fbpx

Mind Positive Parenting is now Spark & Stitch Institute!

New look, new resources, same commitment to kids. Learn more.

Dismiss Message

Category: Courage

Four kids going back to school with their backpacks at their feet

Six Back To School Essentials

Hint: They Won't Fit In Your Child's Backpack

Students will enter school this year with all sorts of supplies, habits, skills, and feelings. The pens, notebooks, books and class schedules will fit neatly inside their backpacks. The other things can be harder to pin down but have a much greater impact on our kids’ success. Empathy Empathy is one of the core “pro-social…  Read More

Why Positive Thinking Needs Obstacles to Work

I vividly remember a youth hockey coach once asked me to do some positive thinking before a big game, “Imagine that there are no obstacles standing in your way. You are fast and powerful and nothing is between you and the net.” Even with my eyes closed in the locker room, I could practically hear…  Read More

Children experiencing empathy for each other

How do children develop empathy?

“My 3-year-old doesn’t seem very empathetic – does this mean something is wrong?” or “Someone told me that kids can’t “do” empathy until age 9. Is that true?” These are examples of the types of questions parents often send us. There is a good reason for confusion around the topic of empathy. While it is…  Read More

Person holding a heart over their chest to symbolize empathy

Teaching Empathy to Kids Starts With Us

Researchers at Harvard’s Making Caring Common project released a report this past fall that holds up an uncomfortable mirror for us parents about teaching empathy to kids. The team surveyed youth and asked them to rank by importance achieving at a high level, feeling good, or helping others. Nearly 80% of youth ranked achievement and…  Read More

Child playing with other children in school using soft skills

Why Teaching Soft Skills Requires Patience and Perspective

“Respectful. Caring. Intelligent. Courageous. Hard working. Empathetic. Confident. Humble. Kind.” One of my favorite ways to start a parenting workshop I facilitate on limits and consequences is to ask parents to close their eyes and envision their children-turned-adults. “What kind of people do you hope your kids become?” To be clear, when I ask this…  Read More

Child experiencing digital wellbeing while listening to music and working on laptop

The Three Pillars of Digital Wellbeing

What is digital wellbeing? It is certainly an elusive term, as digital technologies keep changing the way we live and communicate at breathtaking speed. Children and youth today spend more time tethered to technology than any other activity in their waking hours. It is transforming the way that they learn, share, connect and grow. We’ve…  Read More

Child experiencing gratitude by looking at something through a new lens

The Science of Gratitude in Kids

Why Going From "Gimme" to "Thank You" is Essential to Your Child's Wellbeing

“I’m grateful for Goldy Gopher!” My then three-year-old nephew Ellis exclaimed proudly. “Me too!” His cousin Lucila followed. “Ack!” Shrieked Fiona with an enormous grin, not even one year old. My son Miles responded by dropping some peas on the floor. Welcome to the family tradition we call “Big Circle.” Circling Up My parents have…  Read More

Teenager sitting alone at a table looking stressed

Stress and The Brain

Too Much, Too Little, and the Resilience Sweet Spot

As a culture, we are obsessed with stress and the brain –“Stress Free in 40 Days!”– “Go On Vacation and Leave Stress Behind!” say the advertisements. You can buy stress busters, stress exterminators, and stress eradicators. Yet one out of five children report worrying “a great deal” or “a lot.” Millenials (young adults ages 18-33)…  Read More

Girl using executive function skills to pay attention in class

Executive Function: Skills for School and Life

Want your child to succeed in school and life? Then look beyond IQ scores and test results. We’ve written before about the importance of self-discipline, but the story doesn’t end there. A whole host of mental skills—constituting what is called executive function–determine how as opposed to what we learn. Emerging research is clear that these…  Read More