fbpx

Parenting Blog

Blue Spark & Stitch icon of a mobile device

Screen Time and Technology

Courage and Connection

Icon of brain in yellow

Kids

Brain icon from Spark & Stitch logo

Teens

Creative Supports for Challenging Times

Introducing Spark & Stitch Creative Projects

I had just said goodbye to my kids as they headed into school when I heard a familiar voice behind me doing the same. I turned around to see a parent I hadn’t seen since our kids had been in class together before the pandemic. Without thinking, I greeted her with the usual “How are…  Read More

Overwhelmed child scrunching up his face and holding his arms out in front of his chest

Big Feelings? Don’t Skip These Three Steps

Whether it is with our toddlers or teens, we all know what it is like to witness big feelings completely overwhelm our kids. This isn’t just because life can be overwhelming and stressful (though it certainly can be). It is also because the cortex, the part of our kids’ brains that helps them manage big…  Read More

Want To Help Your Child or Teen Gain Perspective? Break It Into Parts

“My day was horrible,” my youngest sobbed into his pillow recently at bedtime.  My mind immediately raced to two divergent responses at nearly the same time. My first reaction was, “Oh no! That bad?” I had no trouble coming up with all kinds of things that might have made his day horrible, from trouble with…  Read More

Parenting After the Facebook Files

Last week, I wrote a post on Instagram, teens, and body image after the Wall Street Journal released the “Facebook Files” online. Since then whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in front of a Senate subcommittee focused on protecting kids online. Her testimony provided a powerful and courageous glimpse into the business decisions and practices at Facebook,…  Read More

Teenager looking down at their cell phone

Still Complicated: Instagram, Teens, and Body Image

A parent recently shared, “I literally cannot imagine living without our phones right now with everything going on.” In the next breath she admitted, “but I’d also like to throw all of our phones out the window.”  As the pandemic wears on we clearly continue to live in a state of psychological flux with our…  Read More

Group of kids running towards school with their backpacks on

“How Was Your Day?” Talking to Kids About School

“How was your day, buddy?” I asked my second grader after his first day of school. “Thumbs up, down, or something in between?” I prompted.  He put his thumb sideways and kept walking without a word. This kind of ambiguity in a normal year is challenging for us parents. During another COVID year of schooling?…  Read More

Student wearing a yellow t-shirt and a blue backpack going to school with a mask on during COVID-19 pandemic

How to Help Kids and Teens Avoid the Trap of Overgeneralizing

(This goes for grownups too)

“I can’t ever remember not wearing a mask to school!” my second-grader interjected as we began explaining what to expect in the upcoming school year. It made sense, given that his kindergarten year was interrupted by COVID-19 and he had been online or in a mask ever since. Apparently undisturbed by this persistent reality, he…  Read More

Child boarding school bus with a mask

Back-to-School: What Do Kids Need From Us?

School districts and parents across the country are focusing on how to keep children safe as they head back to school this fall. These conversations are essential as we do everything we can to protect our kids’ health and learning through the pandemic. While highly visible and politically divisive measures like masks or distancing dominate…  Read More

Three pre-teens sitting outside looking at camera. One teen is wearing a green shirt and the other a white hoodie.

Listen to Youth Voices in Uncertain Times

Why Participation is Essential and Protective

“My middle schooler has a few tiny things on his mind lately… you know, like the Delta variant and the climate crisis,” a parent recently shared. She went on, “Honestly, things are pretty existential in our house right now…and I just feel so powerless to help. How can I even reassure him when his worries…  Read More

Young child with curly hair looking directly at camera while holding caregivers hands

What Is The Point? Revisiting The Power of Purpose

My dad wrote a lot about me and my two older brothers in his books. Of course we gave him permission. We understood that by sharing his own parenting ups and downs my dad might really help others navigate the same. What I didn’t anticipate was how much many of these stories would eventually help…  Read More