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Limits

A group of teenagers seeking independence while out on a walk

Why Teens Respond Better to Collaboration Than Commands

“I need you to get going!” I told my middle schooler. This reminder came at the end of instructions about what-to-do-next in the unstructured day ahead. My pre-teen, more engaged in a podcast than my game plan, didn’t budge. I considered increasing volume, providing more information, or adding in some exasperated sighs for emphasis. Before…  Read More

Child laying on stomach playing video games with a headset on

Five Ways to Ease Screen Time Transitions

“There is nothing to do,” my youngest kid wailed again. In case we hadn’t heard he increased his volume when he repeated the word nothing. Then he scanned our home as if it were a barren wasteland.  I glanced at him and within seconds could pick out any number of enjoyable activities he could try…  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

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

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

Three children walking on a little wall symbolizing balanced parenting styles

The Parenting Style That Best Fits Growing Brains

There is a lot of talk these days about finding balance. Work-life balance. A balanced diet. Keeping media in balance. In general, balance is a worthy goal. Parenting, though, often feels like an exercise in grappling with persistent imbalance. Curve balls are constant. Kids are messy, unpredictable, challenging, and delightful. This is in part because…  Read More

Parent and child enjoying reducing screen time

Why Reducing Screen Time Isn’t Your Best Resolution

But Changing Digital Habits Might Be

The other day I found myself thinking, “What a time to be alive!” as I watched my oldest child make a series of online slideshows for some of his teachers. He couldn’t have been happier to be writing, creating hilarious art, and even adding poetry to his creations. Outside of school time! Just for fun!…  Read More

Divorced parents sitting on opposite ends of the couch with child in the middle.

Discipline Tips for Divorced Parents

“I asked mom and she already said it was okay for me to go out with my friends tonight.” “But dad never makes me do my homework before I play video games!” Sound familiar? Parenting across two households can be a real challenge. Working through the pain of ending a committed relationship into a working…  Read More