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Parenting Blog

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

Image of iPad that says "This year I'm proud of" and "This year I want to work on"

Pandemic Screen Time Habits: What Next?

During a virtual presentation a parent recently asked, “We’ve gotten into some really bad screen time habits during the pandemic. How do we make sure they don’t stick when this thing is over?” I smiled to myself because at that very moment my own kids were holed up in our unfinished basement with iPads while…  Read More

Two children in winter clothes running across a field with a parent following behind them.

Helping Kids Cope With COVID – Keep Them Moving

A parent shared with me that her youngest recently told her in no uncertain terms, “I can’t go outside! I’ve got too much on my mind!”  “I think he is planning on  spending the rest of the pandemic in his room with his tablet thinking through the collapse of the world,” she lamented. “No surprise…  Read More

Five Ways to Set Boundaries With Kids and Teens

Without Yelling, Shaming, or Nagging

Parents and kids are spending a lot of time together right now. We typically share the role of creating structure and setting boundaries with extended family, educators, coaches, mentors, and other adults. During COVID, it’s more often an in-home job. This means that it is a lot easier to get stuck in negative ruts with…  Read More

Screen Time in a Pandemic: Focus on Mental Health Not Arbitrary Rules

I had just finished a long and detailed discussion with my kids about the benefits of building with cobblestone versus sand blocks in Minecraft. Then I asked, “How much of the day do you think about Minecraft?” “Oh A LOT,” my oldest replied. “But I think when there is more to do, I will have more…  Read More

Child laying on bed reading a book to another child

Dear Artists and Authors, Thank You For Helping Kids Cope With COVID

I walked into my kids’ room last week looking for my youngest. My oldest was curled up in bed. “Are you alone in here?” I asked.  “No,” he answered. “I’m reading.”  It took me a second to realize his answer didn’t mean that both of my kids were snuggled under the blankets. Instead, his answer…  Read More

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

How to Help Children and Youth Process the Capitol Insurrection

Since yesterday’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol many parents have reached out to us for advice on how to talk with and support their kids in the aftermath. As children and young people alike process the live feeds, memes, and coverage of the attack on the halls of Congress everyone will need extra space…  Read More

Better Together: What Parents Learned From Kids About Resilience

Before the new year, I wrote a blog reminding parents that “collaborative resilience” is key during challenging times. In other words, it’s not only parents who help their kids be resilient. Kids can help parents be resilient too. It isn’t our kids job to make us feel better, but we should be open to the ways…  Read More

Kid and parent engaging in distance learning together

Building Family Resilience: Kids As Collaborators

As we head into winter with COVID cases spiking yet again, there is a lot of attention to building resilience to manage this difficult time. That makes it a good time to get clear on what resilience is, and what it isn’t. Too often we think of resilience as an individual trait that we either…  Read More