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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
  • 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…

    The Parenting Style That Best Fits Growing Brains
  • Children in grief making art after their dog died

    Children in Grief: Crying is Brave

    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…

    Children in Grief: Crying is Brave
  • 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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  • Teenage girl listening to podcast with earbuds.

    These Books and Podcasts Will Boost Empathy

    We can't just hand kids a book or download a podcast titled, “Get Empathy.” Nope. But well crafted stories do allow kids to get lost in characters whose lives both mirror and diverge from their own.

    These Books and Podcasts Will Boost Empathy
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  • Child's behavior means he is collapsing on ground

    Understanding your child’s behavior

    “But I KNOW he can do this! He just did it all by himself yesterday! My child’s behavior is too much right now.” An exasperated parent exclaimed as she explained to me how difficult it had been to get out…

    Understanding your child’s behavior