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Parenting Blog

Young child looking bored

The Brain Benefits of Boredom

My mom had a consistent and clear response to me and my two older brothers when we complained of being bored. Her response was always simply, “If you’re bored, I’ll give you something better to do.” Keep in mind that her assigned activities didn’t include playing, Pinterest activities, or popsicles. We quickly figured out that…  Read More

Kids reading to avoid summer slide

Read to Slow the Summer Slide

After the graduation caps have been thrown in the air, school picnics held, and final report cards mailed, families greet the summer months with a similar question: what do we do with our kids? Many are eager for the unstructured time and play that summer provides. Others worry about how to fill the gaps in…  Read More

Parenting raising writer by playing and drawing with them on floor

Nurturing Writing Skills in the Early Years

Some parents worry that as kids spend time texting, they aren’t writing as often as children in past generations. The digital age demands that children be skilled in multiple ways of communicating, from GIF keyboards to writing stories and essays. In addition to being a practical skill, writing contributes to clear and organized thinking. A…  Read More

Looking down on two different color shoes to symbolize empathy, standing in someone else's shoes

Empathy and Teens: Raising Kids Who Care

“I’d like you to close your eyes,” I often say at workshops that I facilitate across the country. “Now visualize the kind of adults you hope your children become.” I add that I am not interested in them conjuring up logistical visions, for example, where they hope their children go to school or the kind…  Read More

Child learning media literacy skills on his laptop

Media Literacy Matters

Children and youth today have the world at their fingertips. They can access libraries with the click of a button, download thousands of books on smart devices, and read newspapers from across the globe. While many young people may be physically separated by geography and/or socially separated by race or income, the Internet has been…  Read More

Parent helping child deal with stressful event by rubbing their hands.

Helping Young Children Cope With Stressful Events

For families experiencing stress following a traumatic event in their community or in the world more broadly, it is important to remember that children’s feelings are rarely mediated by conversation alone. If young children are feeling (or absorbing) stress or uncertainty, we would do well to think and notice what they do with what they’ve…  Read More

Feet of teenager standing on skateboard

Dopamine and the Teenage Brain

I can still remember the kitchen conversation as my brothers excitedly hatched the plan with their friends. “Yes! Let’s do it!” was the consensus as five teenage boys raced out the front door with their skateboards. Ten minutes later a neighbor was on the phone asking if my parents knew that there were teenagers, including…  Read More

Practical Parenting Tips for Growth Mindset

Growth mindset isn’t just about praise “My daughter is working hard and I am proud of her perseverance, but at the end of the day her performance isn’t necessarily improving. Do I just keep praising her? This growth mindset stuff doesn’t seem to be working.” These are the words of a parent who attended a…  Read More

Why Exploring Nature With Children is Good for Their Brains

I was waist deep in muskeg (a fancy name for stinky swamp mud in canoe country), a wood-canvas canoe perched on my barely 16-year-old shoulders, and mosquitoes buzzed hungrily in my ears – a challenging, but not atypical, portage in the Canadian wilderness. “Why do you do that?” my friends asked me. Yet every adolescent…  Read More