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Pre-K

Child laying on bed reading a book to another child

Dear Artists and Authors, Thank You For Helping Kids Cope With COVID

I walked into my kids’ room last week looking for my youngest. My oldest was curled up in bed. “Are you alone in here?” I asked.  “No,” he answered. “I’m reading.”  It took me a second to realize his answer didn’t mean that both of my kids were snuggled under the blankets. Instead, his answer…  Read More

Teenager with a mask holding a sign that says "we repeat what we don't repair"

How to Help Children and Youth Process the Capitol Insurrection

Since yesterday’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol many parents have reached out to us for advice on how to talk with and support their kids in the aftermath. As children and young people alike process the live feeds, memes, and coverage of the attack on the halls of Congress everyone will need extra space…  Read More

Kid and parent engaging in distance learning together

Building Family Resilience: Kids As Collaborators

As we head into winter with COVID cases spiking yet again, there is a lot of attention to building resilience to manage this difficult time. That makes it a good time to get clear on what resilience is, and what it isn’t. Too often we think of resilience as an individual trait that we either…  Read More

Children experiencing gratitude

What Gratitude Is – What It Isn’t – And How It Can Help Kids Cope

“It’s okay. I’ve stopped looking forward to things because everything gets cancelled anyway.” This was my son’s response after we shared that we would be spending Thanksgiving week alone instead of driving to visit grandparents. This was certainly an honest and heartbreaking response to a long string of traditions and activities modified to stay safe…  Read More

Don’t Forget to Play (And Be Playful)

“PUG BREAK!!!” my six-year-old shouted. I heard my oldest’s feet pounding towards the kitchen and I quickly to ran down to join them. Despite the pandemic causing us to mentally and physically feel like we are often stuck in thick jello, the call for a well-timed “Pug break” during a day of distance-learning-work-juggling evokes a…  Read More

Child pressing folded hands against parents hands in an act of apology

Kids, Parenting, and Apologizing

Why Pandemic Parenting Gives Us Lots of Practice and How to Do It Well

I was participating in a meeting last week with a group of parent educators when the facilitator posed these questions as “ice-breakers” before we got deeper into our agenda: What is something you have spent more time on during the pandemic? What has grounded you during this challenging time?  Asking these kinds of questions is, of…  Read More

Ribbon on a typewriter with the words "stories matter" above

Parenting for Media Literacy: Storytelling and Power Matter

I used to teach a course on digital media, storytelling, and social change to college students in Minneapolis. One of our first field experiences every semester was to the artist studio of Minneapolis-based visual artist Ricardo Levins Morales. My students tended to be emerging filmmakers and media makers so many were surprised (and sometimes annoyed)…  Read More

Child blowing a dandelion seeds into the air.

Five Things Kids Need to Regulate and Recharge

“Are we still on summer break?” my oldest asked me yesterday. I wanted to respond, “Who knows anymore?” but I held my tongue. Instead, I answered with a cheery, “Yup! Still on summer break!” Then I handed him a popsicle in a somewhat feeble attempt to assert summer-ness into the day. I empathize with his…  Read More

Child smiling straight into camera.

How to Disrupt Gender Bias in Young Children

A single parent of a toddler sent me this message last week. “Figuring out how to participate in these movements for change during this pandemic with a young child is overwhelming. Most days we are just wrestling with screen time, Cheerios, and sharing toys. It’s so painfully mundane compared to what’s happening in the streets.”…  Read More

Child raising her arms in defiance feeling lots of emotions

The Goal of Emotional Regulation is Not Quiet, Compliant Kids

The lessons we learn about feelings are powerful. From a very young age we are taught in both spoken and unspoken ways which feelings (and associated behaviors) are welcome and which aren’t. A parent shared with me after a workshop a couple of years ago, “I was always told in one hundred different ways that…  Read More