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Parenting Blog

Teenager looking at glowing screen of ipad

Teens, Social Media and Mental Health

Depressing, Uplifting or Complicated?

“I know there is a lot to be excited about, but I can’t help but feel depressed about all the time that kids are spending online,” a father of a middle schooler said at a workshop recently. Another parent added, “Well, you aren’t alone. I am not sure that social media isn’t making my daughter…  Read More

Teenage girl having a difficult conversation with her parent.

How to Talk to Teenagers Without Yelling

Does it seem like every conversation with your teenager ends in a power struggle or argument ? There are no guaranteed strategies to eliminate all parent-teen miscommunication but learning some tips for how to talk to teenagers can improve the odds! Be very clear about your emotions instead of leaving it to your teenager to…  Read More

Child playing with cardboard in free play

Gift Ideas That Encourage Free Play

I wish I could say that my children made simple gift requests this holiday season reflecting the spirit of the season – perhaps asking for a beautifully illustrated book and some simple wooden toys. My five-year-old punctured this vision last week announcing he would like his very own and “very new” iPad and every single…  Read More

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