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Pre-K

Parent comforting a young girl by putting her arm around her

Why Over-Reassuring Can Backfire (And What to Try Instead)

Pause. Feel. Move.

Earlier this week my son called to me after lights out. I sat beside his bed and asked, “What’s up bud? Do you need something?”  “I’m thinking about all the grandparents dying,” he responded  “I just know I’m not going to be able to sleep.”  I tried to resist the urge to unleash a torrent…  Read More

Two children in winter clothes running across a field with a parent following behind them.

Helping Kids Cope With COVID – Keep Them Moving

A parent shared with me that her youngest recently told her in no uncertain terms, “I can’t go outside! I’ve got too much on my mind!”  “I think he is planning on  spending the rest of the pandemic in his room with his tablet thinking through the collapse of the world,” she lamented. “No surprise…  Read More

Five Ways to Set Boundaries With Kids and Teens

Without Yelling, Shaming, or Nagging

Parents and kids are spending a lot of time together right now. We typically share the role of creating structure and setting boundaries with extended family, educators, coaches, mentors, and other adults. During COVID, it’s more often an in-home job. This means that it is a lot easier to get stuck in negative ruts with…  Read More

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