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Teenagers

Back to School Emotional Toolkit

Whether your child is heading back to school in person, online or via a hybrid model, the school year looks and feels different. Stress levels are high, uncertainty reigns, and routines that usually anchor us during transitions are absent. Amidst all this uncertainty, it would be easy to focus our attention on the most tangible…  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

Teenager looking at camera and behind him is a computer screen with fake news

Talking to Kids About Fake News

“Nothing on the internet is real anyway,” my youngest announced emphatically to his older brother. “You don’t know what you are talking about,” my oldest retorted as he searched for evidence that some ducks do indeed sleep with only one eye open. He was clearly ready to launch into an evidence-based defense of his beloved…  Read More

Teenage boy looking at phone and llistening to music with earbuds in his ears.

What Teens Need Us to Know About Social Media and Mental Health

“Any gratitude I had for screens is gone,” a friend shared this week, “I was thrilled in March…thank goodness for technology! Take the iPad and go forth! Now online meetings, gaming, and chats feel more and more empty, especially with everything going on the world. I just want my kid to unplug for a while.…  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 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

Protesters holding sign that says Black Lives Matter

Practicing Anti-Racism in Parenting

As many of you who follow our work already know, our family lives and works in South Minneapolis. This week our city has been on fire in the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. In reality our city has been burning for a long time. This is happening…  Read More

Small child holding hands with their parent staying connected during challenge

Five Ways to Stay Connected to Kids During Stressful Times

This parent spoke for many others when she shared this recently. “I keep reading that kids need us to stay connected more than ever during this pandemic. But our family is stretched so thin. My partner is working in a grocery store, and I am working from home, teaching my kids, and parenting. I feel…  Read More

Child not motivated to start distance learning work.

Motivation During a Pandemic

You don’t have to go far on the Internet these days to find tips for how to “stay productive” during the pandemic and ideas for how to maintain heavy work loads despite crumbling routines and high uncertainty. The reality on the ground though is that for many of us productivity and high motivation are as…  Read More