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Category: Pre-K

Parent tucking child into bed with family ritual

Do You Have Family Rituals?

A simple and creative way to stay connected

“Say our important things,” my youngest child reminded me as I told him to turn off his headlamp and close his eyes to go to sleep. “Of course! Do I ever forget?” I asked. “Well sometimes, but not usually. No, I guess not,” he replied, snuggling into his bed waiting for me to begin our…  Read More

Three children walking on a little wall symbolizing balanced parenting styles

The Parenting Style That Best Fits Growing Brains

There is a lot of talk these days about finding balance. Work-life balance. A balanced diet. Keeping media in balance. In general, balance is a worthy goal. Parenting, though, often feels like an exercise in grappling with persistent imbalance. Curve balls are constant. Kids are messy, unpredictable, challenging, and delightful. This is in part because…  Read More

Parent acting as media mentor using technology together

Parenting in the Digital Age

Become the Media Mentor Your Child Needs

It has never been an easy job to be a parent of a young child.  But in our fast-paced and easily distracted digital age the use of handheld devices has become ubiquitous. Smartphone and tablets are often found in your hands, and we worry about how often screens can be found in the littles hands…  Read More

Young child scrolling through cell phone app that uses persuasive design to shape the user's behavior

Persuasive Design and Growing Brains: Why It Can Be So Hard to Unplug

“I am going to be screen free tonight!” I say to myself with conviction. I am already looking forward to a calm and focused evening. “Anything I need to see on my phone can wait until tomorrow,” I think with confidence. I place my phone on the counter and open the back door to greet…  Read More

Children in grief making art after their dog died

Children in Grief: Crying is Brave

And Other Insights From Kids

I had a summer screen time post all written and ready to post on the website. Then our family dog got very sick and eventually passed away earlier this week. In an instant work, emails, newsletters, and to-do lists flew off the priority list and grief took its place. Jasper, our thirteen year old husky…  Read More

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

Parenting raising writer by playing and drawing with them on floor

Nurturing Writing Skills in the Early Years

Some parents worry that as kids spend time texting, they aren’t writing as often as children in past generations. The digital age demands that children be skilled in multiple ways of communicating, from GIF keyboards to writing stories and essays. In addition to being a practical skill, writing contributes to clear and organized thinking. A…  Read More

Parent helping child deal with stressful event by rubbing their hands.

Helping Young Children Cope With Stressful Events

For families experiencing stress following a traumatic event in their community or in the world more broadly, it is important to remember that children’s feelings are rarely mediated by conversation alone. If young children are feeling (or absorbing) stress or uncertainty, we would do well to think and notice what they do with what they’ve…  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