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Parenting Blog

Teenager with headphones on looking at cell phone

What Will We Focus On Now? Screens, Teens, and Attention Beyond COVID

“My kid has been tethered to their device for over a year….I cannot wait for summer to just unplug and reboot,” a parent recently shared. “I am with you!” I responded. “Seems like we could all use some time recovering from Zoom/GoogleMeet/Teams fatigue.” It’s not that pre-COVID teens (or adults) had a lot of digital balance.…  Read More

Pile of cloth masks worn for COVID pandemic on a yellow background

How to Prevent Small Conflicts From Turning Into Battle Patterns

Last week I heard myself say in an over-tired and annoyed retort to my kids, “I have asked you every morning this week where your masks are!” What followed was a well rehearsed morning scramble punctuated by exasperated exchanges on all sides. This was far from the morning ritual we aspire to as we all…  Read More

Kids running out on school playground

Disrupting Bias Is About Practicing Skills, Not Just Growing Awareness

“How do you think you might respond if this happened at school?” I asked my youngest. We were reading the part of a picture book where a student’s classmates tease him about what he wears to school because it is too “girly.” To be honest, I was kind of excited to hear my child’s response. I…  Read More

Teen girl sitting on couch looking at her iPhone

Screen Time and Mental Health – What We’ve Learned From a Year Online

A parent recently shared, “I know these times are still hard but I think my teenager’s mood is way beyond languishing. I’m really worried about her. And ALL THIS TIME on her phone doesn’t seem to help anymore. We just aren’t on the other side of this yet are we?”  This parent isn’t alone in…  Read More

camera pointed up towards hands put together in a family team cheer

Power Struggle Patterns – Ways to See Them and How to Change Them

“You would think that after a year of this we would have figured out how to live together without fighting. But right now everyone is just prickly and exhausted,” a parent recently confided. She isn’t alone in her fatigue. Adam Grant recently wrote a piece in the New York Times giving us a word to…  Read More

Make Your Own Path: Supporting Kids Beyond the Binary

I smiled as I scanned my youngest child’s outfit as he packed his backpack for kindergarten: purple leggings with iridescent stars and space pugs (yes, little dogs in space suits), a sparkly twirly dress, and a Star Wars t-shirt. “Make sure you wear your tennis shoes so you can run fast at recess,” I reminded…  Read More

Parent comforting a young girl by putting her arm around her

Why Over-Reassuring Can Backfire (And What to Try Instead)

Pause. Feel. Move.

Earlier this week my son called to me after lights out. I sat beside his bed and asked, “What’s up bud? Do you need something?”  “I’m thinking about all the grandparents dying,” he responded  “I just know I’m not going to be able to sleep.”  I tried to resist the urge to unleash a torrent…  Read More

Teenager with a mask holding a sign that says "we repeat what we don't repair"

Talking With Children and Taking Action To Stop Anti-Asian Racism

A Resource Roundup

This week’s deadly attacks in Georgia are deeply upsetting and frightening for parents and kids alike – especially parents and children who identify as Asians, Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders. Yet we know that these attacks are far from isolated events. Violence and harassment against Asian-Americans did not start with the COVID-19 pandemic, but data…  Read More

Two kids standing in the hallways reading their family poem

Your Family Deserves a Poem

Introducing the Spark & Stitch Family Poetry Project

“This poem is about us.” “That part is about me!” my youngest remarked proudly as we read our family poem out loud. Without hearing his name, he knew that the phrase “planetary sparkle” was his part of our story. We had just finished a personalized family poem session with Spark & Stitch collaborator and artist,…  Read More

Close up photo of Diver Van Avery, poet and Spark & Stitch Institute collaborator

Interview with Partner Poet Diver Van Avery

Spark & Stitch Family Poetry Project

As we mark the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Spark & Stitch Institute is thrilled to launch the Family Poetry Project in collaboration with partner poet Diver Van Avery. I sat down with Diver over Zoom to ask her questions about parenting, poetry, and what she can offer families…  Read More