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Parenting Blog

Summer Screen Time Rules

Many of our visions of summertime include thinking of kids splashing in the pool, exploring the woods, riding bikes, going to camps and programs, and hanging out with friends. There is certainly a wide menu of options for kids in the summertime and there are more hours to fill with fun. But there are powerful…  Read More

Teenager sleeping at desk on a pile of books at school

The Science Behind Sleeping Teens

Why The Teenage Brain Wants to Stay Up Late and Sleep In

Getting my kids out of bed in the morning when they were teenagers felt like an epic battle of wills. I remember my son Brian begging for just five more minutes of sleep as if his life depended on it. Convinced that his fatigue was caused by going to bed too late, we tried to…  Read More

Illustrations of emotions emerging from brain

Why Your Child or Teen Needs An Emotion Coach

And Why You Are the Person for the Job

At a recent workshop on emotion coaching I asked parents to share something about their children that they were really proud of – not in terms of accomplishments, but in terms of behaviors they have been working on. This distinction is important. You no doubt feel proud if your child makes the honor roll or…  Read More

Child crying who needs an emotion coach to help handle his feelings

Be an Emotion Coach: 6 Simple Steps

Emotion coaching helps kids learn how to manage powerful emotions and turns would-be power struggles into learning opportunities. Whether or not you know it, your children already sees you as their emotion coach. So here are six steps to start honing your coaching skills. Listen. Pay attention to your child or teen. What are they…  Read More

Child playing with other children in school using soft skills

Why Teaching Soft Skills Requires Patience and Perspective

“Respectful. Caring. Intelligent. Courageous. Hard working. Empathetic. Confident. Humble. Kind.” One of my favorite ways to start a parenting workshop I facilitate on limits and consequences is to ask parents to close their eyes and envision their children-turned-adults. “What kind of people do you hope your kids become?” To be clear, when I ask this…  Read More

Child experiencing digital wellbeing while listening to music and working on laptop

The Three Pillars of Digital Wellbeing

What is digital wellbeing? It is certainly an elusive term, as digital technologies keep changing the way we live and communicate at breathtaking speed. Children and youth today spend more time tethered to technology than any other activity in their waking hours. It is transforming the way that they learn, share, connect and grow. We’ve…  Read More

A teenager trying to do homework amidst digital distractions from laptop and phone

Homework vs. YouTube: Tips for Reducing Distractions

As more and more homework goes online, students are tasked with a daunting task: How do I focus on the assignment and resist the allure of unrelated YouTube videos, social media posts, and other digital distractions? (I emphasize unrelated because some assignments ask students to draw on YouTube and other digital resources for learning). Your…  Read More

kids playing outside in the snow

Why Small Changes Can Have Big Benefits

Choosing small, but high impact, parenting changes can make all the difference in the world

“No!!! Noooooo!!!!” my 2-year-old screams as I wrestle him into his snow pants. In the past month, getting out the door in the morning has become an epic battle. Mittens seem to fly off the moment they go on and legs kick in protest. At first glance the logistical goals of a morning routine seem…  Read More

10 Ways to Teach Your Child Gratitude – Plus Tips for Teens

I just wrote a post about the science behind gratitude. It turns out that far from being a nice afterthought, gratitude is central to our kids’ health and happiness. But you can’t just tell your child to be grateful. Gratitude practices are nurtured over time. Ten ways to start teaching your child gratitude: Start a…  Read More

Child experiencing gratitude by looking at something through a new lens

The Science of Gratitude in Kids

Why Going From "Gimme" to "Thank You" is Essential to Your Child's Wellbeing

“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 family tradition we call “Big Circle.” Circling Up My parents have…  Read More