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Kids

Girl on floor playing with cardboard

Kids Need Play: Offline and Online

“What are you making?” I asked my kids as I dropped  into their basement play area. I glanced quickly around and noted several cut up cardboard boxes, a couple of old Tic Tac containers, multiple rolls of duct tape, and the remains of various lego kits. They were clearly creating something that didn’t come with…  Read More

Student heading back to school with backpack on

Back to School: Let’s Focus on These 5 Things

(What else would you add to this list?)

Every year back-to-school feels both reassuring and slightly ominous. There is comfort and relief in the traditions of finding schedules, organizing supplies, and packing backpacks. But beside these familiar routines there is the inevitable buzz of uncertainty and anticipation. Our kids are considering small, and very important, questions like, “Who will I sit with at…  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

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

Child painting during grief process

Why We Shouldn’t Skip Over Grief and Grieving

“I see that the rates are starting to come down,” a parent recently shared with me. “But I don’t feel the relief I was expecting. It’s just relentless,” she concluded.  “Yeah. I don’t think grief works that way,” I said gently. I knew that her father, who had been another primary caretaker for her kids,…  Read More

Child trying to focus their attention during distance learning

Attention and the Brain: Why It’s Hard to Filter Out Digital Distractions

During a short stint of online learning this winter I paused behind my oldest who was perched at the table with his Chromebook open.  As he haphazardly clicked around the screen, it didn’t take long for me to remember what a heavy lift it is for a growing brain to focus attention amidst a sea…  Read More

Parent looking at iPad with child

5 Ways to Build Emotional Skills for Social Media

(Long Before Kids Have Their Own Accounts)

“Thank goodness I have a five-year-old, I don’t have to deal with TikTok yet!” a parent recently shared. “Agreed!” chimed in another.  A third parent, however, observed, “Yeah… but who knows what social media platforms will be the rage when our kids get to high school…the metaverse?” The group quieted, clearly sobered by the prospect. …  Read More

Exhausted parent collapsed on floor during pandmeic

Why Befriending Your Emotions is Essential

And Works Better Than Battling Them

I was facilitating a webinar last week and invited parents to write a word or two into the chat that described how they were feeling. The waterfall of words that emerged painted a pretty discouraging picture.  “Drained.” “Abandoned.” “Overwhelmed.” “Exhausted.” One participant offered more detail. “I am so sick of being worried! I feel like…  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

Three kids looking at an iPad

To Gift Tech or Not To Gift Tech? That Is Not The Question

While unpacking some holiday decorations I found a wish list that  my kids had put together a few years ago. It was heartwarming and included items like “a live owl,” legos, books, and “surprises.” While the live owl request required some conversation about animal safety, overall the lists were short, sweet, and offline. What grounded…  Read More