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Stress

Young people holding hands navigating stress

A Mindset For Teens That Embraces (Some) Stress

​​Math was by far my favorite subject in elementary school. Other subjects required more effort. But math felt comfortable and full of ease. It felt great when others offered praised for my “natural” math abilities. This was all well and good until my eighth grade geometry class. I was completely lost from the moment I…  Read More

Child actively noticing grass below a tree

Why Noticing New Things Is a Path to Mindfulness That We All Need Right Now

“How’s your summer going?” I recently asked another parent at our neighborhood park.  “Good!” he quickly responded. I waited a bit because his face looked less certain than his immediate response.  “No, I mean, good. Everything is good! Kids are good. I’m good.” He went on, clearly second guessing his answer in real time. We…  Read More

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

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

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

Child pressing folded hands against parents hands in an act of apology

Kids, Parenting, and Apologizing

Why Pandemic Parenting Gives Us Lots of Practice and How to Do It Well

I was participating in a meeting last week with a group of parent educators when the facilitator posed these questions as “ice-breakers” before we got deeper into our agenda: What is something you have spent more time on during the pandemic? What has grounded you during this challenging time?  Asking these kinds of questions is, of…  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

Child not motivated to start distance learning work.

Motivation During a Pandemic

You don’t have to go far on the Internet these days to find tips for how to “stay productive” during the pandemic and ideas for how to maintain heavy work loads despite crumbling routines and high uncertainty. The reality on the ground though is that for many of us productivity and high motivation are as…  Read More

Child tantrumming stressed on floor

The Many Faces of Stress in Children and Teens

Last week I walked downstairs to find my two sons playing a game of chess. “How delightful!” I thought to myself. We had been practicing social distancing for a couple of weeks already, and everyone in our family was getting antsy. Seeing my kids getting along like this was like balm for my weary parenting…  Read More

Parenting talking to daughter and building resilience

Building Resilience: Your Family Stories Matter

“Our family really knows how to cook!” my son exclaimed proudly as he served his own specialty macaroni and cheese to us a couple of days ago for dinner. “YES!” my youngest agreed happily, squeezing enough ketchup for the entire family onto his plate.  Whether or not I agree with the level of culinary sophistication…  Read More