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Mental health

Group of teenagers sitting outside in a circle talking together.

Adolescent Mental Health: Why Teens Are Sensitive to Stress AND Support

For years, many parents and advocates have spent the month of May trying to break through the noise to assert the importance of mental health awareness. This year, for better and for worse, mental health has decidedly occupied the spotlight. More than ever, we are having national conversations about mental health and wellbeing.  Unfortunately though,…  Read More

Tween using tablet during pandemic screen time

Screen Time Has Gone Up (Again) – What Do Teens and Tweens Need Now?

“The data are out!” I said aloud while scrolling through the feeds on my laptop.  “What data?” my older son asked, briefly looking up from his school issued Chromebook.  “Dataaaa! Dataaaa!” my youngest sang enthusiastically, clearly not tracking the conversation but willing to be a part of it. He continued swiping through activities on his…  Read More

Child painting during grief process

Why We Shouldn’t Skip Over Grief and Grieving

“I see that the rates are starting to come down,” a parent recently shared with me. “But I don’t feel the relief I was expecting. It’s just relentless,” she concluded.  “Yeah. I don’t think grief works that way,” I said gently. I knew that her father, who had been another primary caretaker for her kids,…  Read More

Exhausted parent collapsed on floor during pandmeic

Why Befriending Your Emotions is Essential

And Works Better Than Battling Them

I was facilitating a webinar last week and invited parents to write a word or two into the chat that described how they were feeling. The waterfall of words that emerged painted a pretty discouraging picture.  “Drained.” “Abandoned.” “Overwhelmed.” “Exhausted.” One participant offered more detail. “I am so sick of being worried! I feel like…  Read More

Teens looking at camera with their heads together in a circle

Building Belonging Starts at Home

Unlike this time last year, many of us are moving into this winter with our core routines modified but intact. Most kids are back in school, work expectations are back on full tilt, and we are more likely to be participating in activities and community events.  In other words, we are back, in the words…  Read More

Creative Supports for Challenging Times

Introducing Spark & Stitch Creative Projects

I had just said goodbye to my kids as they headed into school when I heard a familiar voice behind me doing the same. I turned around to see a parent I hadn’t seen since our kids had been in class together before the pandemic. Without thinking, I greeted her with the usual “How are…  Read More

Want To Help Your Child or Teen Gain Perspective? Break It Into Parts

“My day was horrible,” my youngest sobbed into his pillow recently at bedtime.  My mind immediately raced to two divergent responses at nearly the same time. My first reaction was, “Oh no! That bad?” I had no trouble coming up with all kinds of things that might have made his day horrible, from trouble with…  Read More

Parenting After the Facebook Files

Last week, I wrote a post on Instagram, teens, and body image after the Wall Street Journal released the “Facebook Files” online. Since then whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in front of a Senate subcommittee focused on protecting kids online. Her testimony provided a powerful and courageous glimpse into the business decisions and practices at Facebook,…  Read More

Teenager looking down at their cell phone

Still Complicated: Instagram, Teens, and Body Image

A parent recently shared, “I literally cannot imagine living without our phones right now with everything going on.” In the next breath she admitted, “but I’d also like to throw all of our phones out the window.”  As the pandemic wears on we clearly continue to live in a state of psychological flux with our…  Read More

Student wearing a yellow t-shirt and a blue backpack going to school with a mask on during COVID-19 pandemic

How to Help Kids and Teens Avoid the Trap of Overgeneralizing

(This goes for grownups too)

“I can’t ever remember not wearing a mask to school!” my second-grader interjected as we began explaining what to expect in the upcoming school year. It made sense, given that his kindergarten year was interrupted by COVID-19 and he had been online or in a mask ever since. Apparently undisturbed by this persistent reality, he…  Read More