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  • It takes courage to grow up. It takes courage to show up.

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Finding the balance between guidance and independence is hard. When do we step in to protect kids and teens and when do we let them figure it out on their own?

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Parenting for Connection & Courage

On the one hand, parenting is incredibly complicated. Your kids are constantly changing, the world is accelerating, and it isn’t always clear what to do. On the other hand, over and over again the research reveals that kids need something that is remarkably simple to thrive: A warm and caring connection with you.

Connection is the active ingredient for a whole suite of “soft skills” – things like empathy, resilience, emotional regulation, and communication. At Spark & Stitch we believe that courage is inextricably linked to connection. It takes courage to have face-to-face conversations, stand up for each other, and speak from the heart. Below you will find posts that give you insight into your child’s emotional development. Check them out and be in touch with your questions.

  • Children experiencing empathy for each other

    How do children develop empathy?

    “My 3-year-old doesn’t seem very empathetic – does this mean something is wrong?” or “Someone told me that kids can’t “do” empathy until age 9. Is that true?” These are examples of the types of questions parents often send us. There is a…

    How do children develop empathy?
  • Child experiencing gratitude by looking at something through a new lens

    The Science of Gratitude in Kids

    "I'm grateful for Goldy Gopher!" My then three-year-old nephew Ellis exclaimed proudly. "Me too!" His cousin Lucila followed. "Ack!" Shrieked Fiona with an enormous grin, not even one year old. My son Miles responded by dropping some peas on the floor. Welcome to the…

    The Science of Gratitude in Kids
  • 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…

    Five Ways to Stay Connected to Kids During Stressful Times
  • 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…

    How to Disrupt Gender Bias in Young Children
  • White parents talking to their children about race

    White Parents – Talk With Kids About Race and Racism

    “Whoever tells the stories, defines the culture.” My oldest son and his friends have been watching a lot of The Who Was? Show on Netflix. The series explores the lives of famous people from history. Before dinner recently he excitedly listed…

    White Parents – Talk With Kids About Race and Racism
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  • 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…

    The Goal of Emotional Regulation is Not Quiet, Compliant Kids
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  • 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…

    Motivation During a Pandemic