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Parenting Blog

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Screen Time and Technology

Courage and Connection

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Kids

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Teens
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Rethinking Emotional Explosions

“Your turn!” one of my kids shouted to the other. I looked over to the kitchen table to see that they were engaged in one one of the many card games they had picked up at school. Buoyed by the warm glow of sibling cooperation, I turned to go upstairs.  It turns out that the…  Read More

Frustrated child sitting at table with her head in her hands

Why Forecasting Emotions Can Help Kids Handle Them

“I try to have a positive attitude about it and give him a fresh start,” a parent recently shared with me. “But it seems like every day there is a blow up when it’s time to stop gaming. It’s miserable.”  “Ugh. That sounds so hard,” I responded picturing similar scenes playing out in my own…  Read More

Group of young teenagers sitting outside in a circle showing each other images on their phones

Teens and Screens: Why The Shift From Control to Connection is Key to Mental Health

We all have well rehearsed parenting phrases that emerge at different stages in our kids’ lives. Usually they pop into our heads or out of our mouths before we’ve even had time to think them through. You aren’t alone if the dominant phrase during middle and high school is, “PUT. THAT. [INSERT TECH DEVICE]. DOWN.”…  Read More

Five Questions That Will Help You Listen (And Learn)

“Wait,” my oldest recently interrupted me. “Aren’t you supposed to be lending me your ears?”  “What?” I responded, annoyed at being interrupted but also momentarily distracted by the image of handing over something akin to the fake rubber yoda ears shoved into our costume bin in the basement. In the time it took me to…  Read More

Girl on floor playing with cardboard

Kids Need Play: Offline and Online

“What are you making?” I asked my kids as I dropped  into their basement play area. I glanced quickly around and noted several cut up cardboard boxes, a couple of old Tic Tac containers, multiple rolls of duct tape, and the remains of various lego kits. They were clearly creating something that didn’t come with…  Read More

Student heading back to school with backpack on

Back to School: Let’s Focus on These 5 Things

(What else would you add to this list?)

Every year back-to-school feels both reassuring and slightly ominous. There is comfort and relief in the traditions of finding schedules, organizing supplies, and packing backpacks. But beside these familiar routines there is the inevitable buzz of uncertainty and anticipation. Our kids are considering small, and very important, questions like, “Who will I sit with at…  Read More

Young people holding hands navigating stress

A Mindset For Teens That Embraces (Some) Stress

​​Math was by far my favorite subject in elementary school. Other subjects required more effort. But math felt comfortable and full of ease. It felt great when others offered praised for my “natural” math abilities. This was all well and good until my eighth grade geometry class. I was completely lost from the moment I…  Read More

Child actively noticing grass below a tree

Why Noticing New Things Is a Path to Mindfulness That We All Need Right Now

“How’s your summer going?” I recently asked another parent at our neighborhood park.  “Good!” he quickly responded. I waited a bit because his face looked less certain than his immediate response.  “No, I mean, good. Everything is good! Kids are good. I’m good.” He went on, clearly second guessing his answer in real time. We…  Read More

Line of teens sitting down looking at their phones

How Involved Should We Be In Kids’ Tech Lives? A New Study Sheds Some Light

“Just tell me how much screen time my kids should have!”  This is often the sentiment of parents I meet who are tired of conflicting advice about kids and technology. I get it. Our risk-assessment capacity is fried, news headlines give us constant whiplash, and we all could use some certainty right now.  That’s why…  Read More

Teen boy laying on bed looking at internet on phone

Why Kids Need Us To Talk To Them About Extremism Online

“My son is on Discord,” a parent recently wrote in an email immediately following the racist killing spree in Buffalo, NY. “Should I be concerned?” I took a deep breath because I knew these conversations were complicated. In the wake of the racist killings in Buffalo, NY last week, each of us has been left…  Read More