When Positive Parenting Works: The Power of a Hug

Positive parenting

In positive parenting, the power of a hug is some of the best preventative medicine that exists for the adult-child relationship, even with children who aren’t our own. * A girl I’ll call Juniper, who was then two and a half years old, was standing with my child and me in the doorway just before […]

Halloween and Food Allergies: Fostering Childhood Resilience

When my daughter was three years old, I didn’t think anything about fostering childhood resilience when it came to Halloween. For some reason that’s unbeknownst to me, she decided that what people do with Halloween candy is…donate it. Who was I to argue with her thoughtful idea? So, for the past two years, we’ve gathered […]

Reframing the Terrible Twos

The “terrible twos” have a reputation, even among non-parents. The moniker has become so commonplace that at just the very mention of a second birthday, well-meaning friends reference the possibility of impending doom, as if the milestone is going to summon something akin to a year-long root canal. Is it warranted, though? As a positive […]

Highly Sensitive Person Parenting Strategies

Empathic and Highly Sensitive Person

The empathic Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) may be relatively new as a namesake, but certainly not as a concept. Some of us are just wired a bit differently than most others, be it from nature or nurture (although in this case, science argues for both). And with nature to thank—not to blame, but to thank—those of […]

Sharing and Taking Turns: Supporting Your Kids

Sharing on their own terms works

In the dance class I’ve written about before and that I help teach, the kids sometimes use colorful scarves as props during freestyle dancing. It’s really fun to watch them swirl and twirl, unless you’re watching littlest Julianne*, where you wonder how long it’ll take her to accidentally wrap up her feet and wipe out. The less […]

Shopping with Kids: Supporting a Growth Mindset Among the Shiny Objects

Knowing her grandparents will soon be asking for gift ideas for our daughter, my husband and I decided to take our five year old window shopping today. As usual and as I’ve written about before, we began with the caveat that although we wouldn’t buy anything, we’d take pictures of what she likes so that […]

For Rules’ Sake: The Freedom in Letting Go

Although I was on the other side of the playground when it started, I suspect the conversation began something like this: “Hey, let’s see if you can throw the football so hard that it gets stuck in the tree!” Perhaps having never experienced the frustration of getting a ball stuck up high, this young boy […]

Understanding Children’s Behavior: One Simple Idea

Every week, I help teach a dance class. And every week for the past three months, six-year-old Lexi (not her real name) has had to be first in line when the children await their dance props (scarves and whatnot). When it’s time to line up, she’ll push other kids out of the way to get the prime spot. […]

Preparing for the Inevitable: The Importance of Trusting Play

“Mommy, let’s pretend this isn’t a train tunnel.” “Okay, what is it?” “It’s a tomb.” Well, hello, conversation stopper. She paused for effect, which is a good thing, because I certainly didn’t expect that. After a moment to process and very consciously trust that children’s play serves an important purpose for them, I mentally cringed […]

Observing the Experts (Who Are Rarely Adults, With This Exception)

  For the past week, I’ve attended a multi-age outdoor school led by Teacher Tom, who’s hailed by parenting experts as one of the “world’s leading practitioners of ‘democratic play-based’ education.”* If you haven’t followed his blog or bought his book, you should, and if you can attend his class, even better. Although I exceed the age limit […]