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COVID-19

Young child with curly hair looking directly at camera while holding caregivers hands

What Is The Point? Revisiting The Power of Purpose

My dad wrote a lot about me and my two older brothers in his books. Of course we gave him permission. We understood that by sharing his own parenting ups and downs my dad might really help others navigate the same. What I didn’t anticipate was how much many of these stories would eventually help…  Read More

Five Things to Keep in Mind On the Path Out of COVID

“How can I be so grateful and so overwhelmed at the same time!” a parent recently shared. “I dreamt of these activities for months and now I just feel more up and down than I imagined I would.” Many of us have likely spent time imagining what life “after COVID” would feel like. Indeed, the…  Read More

Teenager with headphones on looking at cell phone

What Will We Focus On Now? Screens, Teens, and Attention Beyond COVID

“My kid has been tethered to their device for over a year….I cannot wait for summer to just unplug and reboot,” a parent recently shared. “I am with you!” I responded. “Seems like we could all use some time recovering from Zoom/GoogleMeet/Teams fatigue.” It’s not that pre-COVID teens (or adults) had a lot of digital balance.…  Read More

Pile of cloth masks worn for COVID pandemic on a yellow background

How to Prevent Small Conflicts From Turning Into Battle Patterns

Last week I heard myself say in an over-tired and annoyed retort to my kids, “I have asked you every morning this week where your masks are!” What followed was a well rehearsed morning scramble punctuated by exasperated exchanges on all sides. This was far from the morning ritual we aspire to as we all…  Read More

Teen girl sitting on couch looking at her iPhone

Screen Time and Mental Health – What We’ve Learned From a Year Online

A parent recently shared, “I know these times are still hard but I think my teenager’s mood is way beyond languishing. I’m really worried about her. And ALL THIS TIME on her phone doesn’t seem to help anymore. We just aren’t on the other side of this yet are we?”  This parent isn’t alone in…  Read More

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

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