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Communication

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

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

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

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

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

Masked teenager holding up two pins that say VOTE and 2020

Talking Politics With Kids and Teens

Why Kids Need Us to Engage Them in the Election

During the last presidential election I had a child in kindergarten. It didn’t take long into the school year to understand that kids as young as five-years-old are already deeply invested in national politics. At drop off, kids would run up to me eagerly with all kinds of observations and questions typical of kindergarteners, ranging…  Read More

Child pressing folded hands against parents hands in an act of apology

Kids, Parenting, and Apologizing

Why Pandemic Parenting Gives Us Lots of Practice and How to Do It Well

I was participating in a meeting last week with a group of parent educators when the facilitator posed these questions as “ice-breakers” before we got deeper into our agenda: What is something you have spent more time on during the pandemic? What has grounded you during this challenging time?  Asking these kinds of questions is, of…  Read More