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  • Support parents so they can be their best.

    Flexible online parenting classes that build connections and reduce stress.

Parents and kids alike are facing unprecedented levels of stress, uncertainty and isolation. Juggling work, parenting, and schooling is not easy. Now, more than ever, parents deserve evidence-based support, affirmation and concrete strategies that build family connection and resilience. 

Schools, companies, and groups are looking for online parenting support that fits into their “new normal.” Spark & Stitch Institute’s engaging, warm, and practical online classes remind parents that they aren’t alone in their struggles and build confidence and calm.

Whether it is navigating the challenges of increased screen time, helping kids handle stress, avoiding power struggles, or building resilience, parents deserve extra this extra support.

We are thrilled to offer group licenses that allow you to bring support, insight, and strategies on parenting to your community.

Dr. Dave Walsh and Erin Walsh introducing online class Why Do They Act That Way?

Father and daughter team Dr. Dave Walsh and Erin Walsh. Co-Authors of National Bestselling book Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen.

Current classes:

Logo for online class Connected: How To Show Up For Your Kids in the Digital Age

Connected: How to Show Up For Your Kids in the Digital Age

Kids desperately need their parents to step up as their digital mentors but too many caregivers don’t feel equipped for the job. This spotlight course walks parents through the essential skills of parenting in the digital age and helps them define their screen time priorities and strengthen their commitments to connection online and offline.

For an easy-to-share, detailed description of the class, click on a download:

Overview For Schools Overview For Groups Overview For Corporations

Here is what parents can expect in this short and accessible spotlight course:

SPARK 1: Connect and Communicate

We get started by explaining why you are already your teenager’s digital mentor, whether you realize it or not.

Highlights:

  • What does an effective Digital Mentor do? Defining and clarifying the role.
  • Reflective exercises to help you understand the digital parenting style you have now and how to become the Digital Mentor your child needs.
  • Exercises to help you catch your kid’s digital strengths.
  • Suggestions for how to handle online challenges.

SPARK 2: Rest and Rejuvenate

It’s hard work to change our relationships with screens. One way to stay motivated through the inevitable push-back is learning the brain science behind when and where kids benefit from digital breaks.

Highlights include: 

  • Why your child needs sleep.
  • The significance of boredom.
  • How moving your body positively impacts your brain.
  • The relationship between spacing out, imagination, and goal setting.
  • Pep talks that acknowledge how and why habit change is hard and tips to keep going.

SPARK 3: Focus and Fire Up

One of the most precious mental resources we have is our attention. Learn more about how to help your child focus attention in a world full of distractions.

Highlights include:

  • Why your child needs you to teach them the art of singletasking.
  • Reactive vs. focused attention.
  • The science behind why it’s so hard to unplug.
  • The attention economy and practicing mindful media habits.

Why Do They Act That Way? Proven Strategies to Understand and Stay Connected to Your Teen

Adolescence is a “normally abnormal” time full of ups and downs and new parenting challenges with higher stakes. Parents of middle schoolers report that this stage is the single most stressful parenting period. This signature course walks parents through the science of the adolescent brain and delivers practical strategies for staying connected during these turbulent years.

For an easy-to-share, detailed description of the class, click on a download:

Overview For Schools Overview For Groups Overview For Corporations

Here is what parents can expect from the course:

SPARK 1: Why Do They Act That Way?

We get started by taking a tour of the construction zones in your teenager’s brain. Knowing what’s going on inside your teenager shifts how you respond to them.

Highlights:

  • The emotional gas pedal is pressed to the floor
  • Risk taking, dopamine and the teenage brain
  • Embracing the new normal

SPARK 2: Loosen But Don’t Let Go – Staying Connected To Your Teen

It’s hard to know both why it matters and how to stay connected with your teenager when they are pushing you away.

Highlights include: 

  • Why Your Teen Still Needs You (Even If They Won’t Admit It)
  • Connection Unleashes Your Teen’s Brilliance
  • Tips and Tricks for Getting Creative With Connection
  • Phones or Face-to-Face?

SPARK 3: Setting Limits and Avoiding Power Struggles

Learn the tricky but essential middle road between the “takeover” and the “hands off” approaches to discipline with your teen.

Highlights include:

  • It’s Your Teen’s Job to Push Against the Limits; It’s Your Job To Set Them
  • The Strategy of Limits and Consequences and When It Doesn’t Go As Planned
  • Why Are You Always Yelling At Me? Communication and the Teenage Brain
  • How to Negotiate With Your Teen Without Being a Pushover

SPARK 4: Managing Feelings, Stress, and Mental Health

Adolescence is a stressful time. Learn how to help your teenager handle their stress while also making sure you don’t miss more serious mental health concerns.

Highlights include:

  • It’s Not Your Job To Rescue Your Teen From Their Feelings
  • Stress and Your Teen’s Brain
  • Back to the Basics: Sleep, Exercise, and Food
  • Recognizing signs of mental illness
  • Don’t Ignore Mental Health

SPARK 5: Independence vs. Guidance – What’s the Right Balance?

The goal is for your teen to become a resilient, capable adult. How do you help them get there?

Highlights include:

  • How to Help Your Teenager Set Goals and Reach Them
  • The Turn Towards Friends: Identity, Drama, and Support
  • The Talk(s) – Sex AND Relationships
  • Don’t Duck Difficult Conversations

SPARK 6: Raising a Teen Requires Community

This final spark will inspire you to not only connect with your teen but to a wider circle of support.

Highlights include:

  • Helping Your Teen Find Their Purpose
  • You Can’t Do This Alone
  • Parenting with a Growth Mindset

Say Yes To No: Why Kids Need Loving Boundaries and How to Set Them

Setting boundaries and structure creates the routine, calm, and security that allows kids and adults alike to greet the challenges of this moment with more resilience. The reality is that parents are juggling competing responsibilities with limited bandwidths. Without support, this can quickly lead to more yelling, conflict, and stress at home. Parents deserve evidence-based support that help them get through the day without power struggles that erode connection.

For an easy-to-share, detailed description of the class, click on a download:

Overview For Schools Overview For Groups Overview For Corporations

Spark 1 – Why Your Child Needs You To Set Limits

We start by exploring why boundaries help children learn how to manage their behavior and their emotions.

  • Why it is hard to say no
  • Why setting limits helps children develop emotional regulation
  • Unpacking your parenting approach

Spark 2 –  How to Set Limits

Setting boundaries is one of the more challenging parts of parenting. Learn practical strategies for setting limits and enforcing consequences while maintaining connection and trust.

  • Connection assessment
  • The strategy of limits and consequences
  • Emotion coaching and handling big feelings

Spark 3 – Troubleshooting

Parenting is more of an art than a science. Learn more about how to troubleshoot challenges when it comes to setting boundaries.

  • When yelling takes over
  • What to do when consequences don’t work
  • Navigating differences in parenting styles

High quality online classes that deliver strategies, support, and affirmation to parents when they need it most.

Offer the flexibility that parents need and deserve.

For parents, flexibility is everything. Parents are juggling competing demands on their time and attention and need solutions that fit into their busy lives, not long sessions that are difficult to attend. This course consists of short videos (5-8 minutes long) and practical downloads that working parents can access on their schedule. Accessible online or in an app.

Deliver clear, transformational strategies that can adapt to fit different families.

Parents and kids are unique. With access to short videos, interactive guides and exercises, and an online community forum, parents are able to find and practice approaches that work for them. The classes are packed with reflective exercises that allow parents to bring their own values, culture, and goals to the content.

Invest in parents for emotional health and wellbeing.

Parenting challenges can make us feel helpless, stressed, and isolated. These online courses remind parents of shared struggle and supportive strategies so that kids and parents alike are less stressed, more connected, and better able to bring their best selves to work or school.

Build community and family partnerships.

Group licenses allow parents across an organization or school to participate in the course at the same time and build connections. Already-existing parent groups can work through the course and deepen connections. Courses are designed to fit into busy lives and competing demands for time and attention.

 

Want to bring an online class to your community?

Here’s how it works:

1. Fill out the group license form.

2. We will get in touch with you to learn more about your needs.

3. Get unique codes to distribute to parents in your community.

4. Build parent capabilities and strengthen your partnership with parents.

Get a quote

What parents have said about our classes:

  • “I have already recommended this course to several parents! It is fantastic, comprehensive and accessible. It also offered loads of reflection exercises (so much of parenting is an inside job, reflecting on our own family of origin and baggage) and actionable tools. So great.”

    Sarah, Parent

  • “This is the teen ECFE class that I wished for, full of simply presented insight into the teen brain geared towards a better (and happier!) way to parent through connection. Dr. Walsh and Erin present real (not idealized) techniques. They recognize that there will be bumps and bruises along the way and offer guidelines to help identify when typical behaviors & emotions cross over into concerning ones. It is clear that they have a real passion for helping parents and a deep affection for teens.”

    Naomi, Parent

  • “I have always looked forward to raising teenagers, albeit a little nervous also. But it’s different and scarier when it’s our own kiddos. Your reminders helped: She is doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing, and right on time. It’s the process of letting go that is so gutting. She is becoming her own person – and we’re growing as much as she is. Your class is helping!!” 

    Sally, Parent

“We are here to support parents in the messy space between the ideal and the real”

– Erin Walsh, Co-Founder Spark & Stitch Institute