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Category: Kids

Child holding single pink rose in the wake of a tragedy like a mass shooting

Helping Kids Cope With Tragedy

Age-by-age advice from early childhood through adolescence

Unfortunately, mass shootings and racialized violence are not uncommon in the United States. Even if they don’t happen in their community, children and teens hear about them from friends and in the news. These events may cause children to fear that an event like this could happen to them or their parents. All of us,…  Read More

Child playing with cardboard in free play

Gift Ideas That Encourage Free Play

I wish I could say that my children made simple gift requests this holiday season reflecting the spirit of the season – perhaps asking for a beautifully illustrated book and some simple wooden toys. My five-year-old punctured this vision last week announcing he would like his very own and “very new” iPad and every single…  Read More

Young child looking bored

The Brain Benefits of Boredom

My mom had a consistent and clear response to me and my two older brothers when we complained of being bored. Her response was always simply, “If you’re bored, I’ll give you something better to do.” Keep in mind that her assigned activities didn’t include playing, Pinterest activities, or popsicles. We quickly figured out that…  Read More

Child learning media literacy skills on his laptop

Media Literacy Matters

Children and youth today have the world at their fingertips. They can access libraries with the click of a button, download thousands of books on smart devices, and read newspapers from across the globe. While many young people may be physically separated by geography and/or socially separated by race or income, the Internet has been…  Read More

Practical Parenting Tips for Growth Mindset

Growth mindset isn’t just about praise “My daughter is working hard and I am proud of her perseverance, but at the end of the day her performance isn’t necessarily improving. Do I just keep praising her? This growth mindset stuff doesn’t seem to be working.” These are the words of a parent who attended a…  Read More

Why Exploring Nature With Children is Good for Their Brains

I was waist deep in muskeg (a fancy name for stinky swamp mud in canoe country), a wood-canvas canoe perched on my barely 16-year-old shoulders, and mosquitoes buzzed hungrily in my ears – a challenging, but not atypical, portage in the Canadian wilderness. “Why do you do that?” my friends asked me. Yet every adolescent…  Read More

How to Talk With Your Kids About Sex, Sexuality, and Consent

Many parents drag their feet into the dreaded “sex talk” with their children. Maybe it’s time we take the pressure off of that single talk. If we want the sex and relationships our children ultimately have to be physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy then we’d better start talking to them about it early and often.…  Read More

Parent frustrated while setting limits

7 Ways Setting Limits Can Go Awry

And what to try instead

“Sometimes I feel like my kids are out of control,” worried one parent. Another quickly added, “My daughter knows just how to push my buttons.” A third chimed in with, “I’m always in a power struggle with my four-year-old son.” Comments like these are common in parenting workshops, and I’ve uttered versions of my own…  Read More

Child eating a marshmallow similar to Stanford University's famous "marshmallow experiment"

Grade for Grit? Not Yet

A lot of parents have asked us over the years whether or not they should do the marshmallow experiment with their kids to ‘test’ their self-control. While asked half in jest, it is clearly tempting for them to want to assess this critical character trait in their children. If self-discipline is so important, the logic…  Read More