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

Teenager checking their cell phone

Informed or overwhelmed? The brain on COVID-19 news

This week marked the first official week of learning at home in the wake of school closures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our family started social distancing efforts last week so I had a little time to mentally prepare for the new reality of juggling working, parenting, and teaching. I knew better than…  Read More

Children washing hands

How to Talk to Kids and Teens About the Coronavirus

Plus comics, podcasts, and links to support your efforts

“How long should I wash my hands? Two hours?” my five-year-old asked before dinner. “Kids don’t even get sick from the corona virus!” my oldest asserted in a calm yet slightly annoyed, “I-know-more-than-you” voice. An argument ensued over who knew more about the virus and exactly which song is twenty seconds long. Even if children and…  Read More

Teen reading on digital tablet lying on bed

Dive, Surf, or Skim? Reading Comprehension in the Digital Age

Parents and researchers alike have a long history of hand wringing about literacy, reading comprehension, and children, especially as they get older. The migration of reading to digital media has only compounded these fears. Parents frequently comment, “I feel like I haven’t seen my child pick up a real book for fun in years!” while…  Read More

Parent talking with teens

Talking With Teens

Breathe, listen, and grab a tile

When it comes to talking with teens, a participant in our fall Why Do They Act That Way online class shared this with me, “I think the hardest part is just not knowing if the conversations we are having make any difference. My daughter is NOT a talker, and I seem to annoy her a…  Read More

Parent tucking child into bed with family ritual

Do You Have Family Rituals?

A simple and creative way to stay connected

“Say our important things,” my youngest child reminded me as I told him to turn off his headlamp and close his eyes to go to sleep. “Of course! Do I ever forget?” I asked. “Well sometimes, but not usually. No, I guess not,” he replied, snuggling into his bed waiting for me to begin our…  Read More

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 are constant. Kids are messy, unpredictable, challenging, and delightful. This is in part because…  Read More

Parent and child enjoying reducing screen time

Why Reducing Screen Time Isn’t Your Best Resolution

But Changing Digital Habits Might Be

The other day I found myself thinking, “What a time to be alive!” as I watched my oldest child make a series of online slideshows for some of his teachers. He couldn’t have been happier to be writing, creating hilarious art, and even adding poetry to his creations. Outside of school time! Just for fun!…  Read More

Teenage girl using new phone

New Digital Devices? Get Off To The Right Start With a Family Media Plan

There is no doubt that gaming systems, phones, and tablets are at the top of many children’s wish lists this year. While there are reasons to wait before getting your child their own device, how do we make sure that when the time comes that we set them up for success? Many parents greet new…  Read More

Parent acting as media mentor using technology together

Parenting in the Digital Age

Become the Media Mentor Your Child Needs

It has never been an easy job to be a parent of a young child.  But in our fast-paced and easily distracted digital age the use of handheld devices has become ubiquitous. Smartphone and tablets are often found in your hands, and we worry about how often screens can be found in the littles hands…  Read More

Child's behavior means he is collapsing on ground

Understanding your child’s behavior

Four things to remember when your kid falls apart

“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 the door that morning for school. Another parent recently lamented, “She CAN manage her anger;…  Read More