fbpx

Mind Positive Parenting is now Spark & Stitch Institute!

New look, new resources, same commitment to kids. Learn more.

Dismiss Message

Parenting Blog

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

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

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

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

How to Talk With Your Kids About Sex, Sexuality, and Consent

Many parents drag their feet into the dreaded “sex talk” with their children. Maybe it’s time we take the pressure off of that single talk. If we want the sex and relationships our children ultimately have to be physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy then we’d better start talking to them about it early and often.…  Read More

Parent frustrated while setting limits

7 Ways Setting Limits Can Go Awry

And what to try instead

“Sometimes I feel like my kids are out of control,” worried one parent. Another quickly added, “My daughter knows just how to push my buttons.” A third chimed in with, “I’m always in a power struggle with my four-year-old son.” Comments like these are common in parenting workshops, and I’ve uttered versions of my own…  Read More

Teen looking sadly at phone while two other teens laugh in the background, indicating that she is experiencing cyberbullying.

Facing the Facts About Cyberbullying

Young people today are wrestling with the same questions that Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers alike did when they were teenagers. Questions like, “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to be?” They are also riding the same emotional roller coasters trying to sort out friendships and identity. They are at times amazingly caring, kind,…  Read More

Child eating a marshmallow similar to Stanford University's famous "marshmallow experiment"

Grade for Grit? Not Yet

A lot of parents have asked us over the years whether or not they should do the marshmallow experiment with their kids to ‘test’ their self-control. While asked half in jest, it is clearly tempting for them to want to assess this critical character trait in their children. If self-discipline is so important, the logic…  Read More