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Resilience

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

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

Child boarding school bus with a mask

Back-to-School: What Do Kids Need From Us?

School districts and parents across the country are focusing on how to keep children safe as they head back to school this fall. These conversations are essential as we do everything we can to protect our kids’ health and learning through the pandemic. While highly visible and politically divisive measures like masks or distancing dominate…  Read More

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

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

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

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