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Resilience

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

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

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

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

Children experiencing gratitude

What Gratitude Is – What It Isn’t – And How It Can Help Kids Cope

“It’s okay. I’ve stopped looking forward to things because everything gets cancelled anyway.” This was my son’s response after we shared that we would be spending Thanksgiving week alone instead of driving to visit grandparents. This was certainly an honest and heartbreaking response to a long string of traditions and activities modified to stay safe…  Read More

Back to School Emotional Toolkit

Whether your child is heading back to school in person, online or via a hybrid model, the school year looks and feels different. Stress levels are high, uncertainty reigns, and routines that usually anchor us during transitions are absent. Amidst all this uncertainty, it would be easy to focus our attention on the most tangible…  Read More

Child blowing a dandelion seeds into the air.

Five Things Kids Need to Regulate and Recharge

“Are we still on summer break?” my oldest asked me yesterday. I wanted to respond, “Who knows anymore?” but I held my tongue. Instead, I answered with a cheery, “Yup! Still on summer break!” Then I handed him a popsicle in a somewhat feeble attempt to assert summer-ness into the day. I empathize with his…  Read More

Small child holding hands with their parent staying connected during challenge

Five Ways to Stay Connected to Kids During Stressful Times

This parent spoke for many others when she shared this recently. “I keep reading that kids need us to stay connected more than ever during this pandemic. But our family is stretched so thin. My partner is working in a grocery store, and I am working from home, teaching my kids, and parenting. I feel…  Read More