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For Parents

Parenting With the HEART in Mind

Weekly parenting tips to grow the social and emotional capacity of your children and family.

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November 15 – Parenting with Gratitude

Research shows that gratitude can improve both our physical and mental health, making us more resilient in the face of stress. And grateful people are more apt to learn and grow from difficulty.

Even though this year has been difficult, the opportunity to practice gratitude abounds. If you need ideas to engage your children in practicing gratitude, here’s a great list. The article is written for classroom teachers, but easily adapted for use at home.

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

10 Keys to Everyday Anti-Racism is a great article with practical tools that can be used to work against prejudice and inequality, published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. Take a look!

November 8 – Arguments on the rise

Are you arguing more often with your spouse or partner since coronavirus? If you are, you are not alone. With many families spending all day and every day at home together, co-parents are feeling constrained and conflicts are simmering. While these are challenging times, we can find ways to bolster these relationships and overcome conflicts. Check out these 5 tips from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. 

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

I recently discovered this great organization, Embrace Race, which is focused on helping parents to raise children who are thoughtful, informed and brave about race. They have a ton of free resources. Check it out!

November 1 – Go Vote!

“When you’re being civic you’re thinking about your relationship to other people and the larger society. What’s your responsibility? How can you make things better?” says Amber Coleman-Mortley, blogger at Mom of All Capes and author of the popular podcast Let’s K12 Better. In her latest episode, she talks about talking with children about the election. Have a listen!

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

Go vote! Seriously. 

October 25 – Booo! Halloween is almost here

We know that this year’s Halloween celebrations won’t be the same. However, children are still excited to get their costumes on and eat some candy. If you are in need of ideas to have a safe Halloween, check out some tips here

Every year, we still see costumes that are offensive–people wearing blackface or dresses depicting another ethnicity or race. When we wear offensive costumes, we ruin the fun for others. Do you need resources to get educated on the topic? Check herehere and here. Work with your children to pick or make costumes that are fun and tasteful, and in case of doubt, choose something else.

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

In this podcast, Amber Coleman-Mortley, blogger at Mom of All Capes and author of the popular podcast Let’s K12 Better, talks about Civics, Race and Kids. Have a listen!

October 18 – How are you really feeling?

Emotions are running high in most families–arguments over distance learning assignments, wearing a mask while outside or spending too much time in front of a screen are common nowadays. We (parents) keep trying to “make things work”, and yet living through this pandemic is tough. 

My colleague and SEL parent education consultant, Jennifer Miller starts her day by asking her family, “What’s in your heart today?” A simple and important question that helps us to take the temperature of our own and our family’s feelings.

When we do this kind of check-in with our families, we are teaching children to identify their emotions and self-regulate more effectively, and we are creating an opportunity to discuss any concerns before starting the day. In this great article, Jennifer explores a few tools that you can use to take the temperature of your family’s feelings. 

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

A new “Sesame Street” special about anti-racism called “The Power of We” is now available. The Power of We: it features Elmo and Abby Cadabby, who are joined by 6-year-old Muppet Gabrielle and her cousin, 8-year-old Tamir. Come along with these friends as they learn how to become “upstanders” to unfair treatment based on skin or fur color. You can watch in on PBS

October 4 – Supporting Distance Learning

I got the stinky eye from my 8 year-old daughter when I tried to “help” her with a math assignment this week. It is very hard to watch our kids struggle, and sometimes fail! However,  during Back to School Night, educators at my child’s school reminded parents of the benefits of productive struggle: “It is okay to let your child struggle with an assignment. Let them figure it out on their own.” For more information on productive struggle and other tips to support your children’s learning at home, check out this article from Edutopia. 

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

What do you know about Hispanic Heritage month and the contributions of the Latino community? Check out these great resources from PBS to learn about and celebrate the traditions, stories and contributions of Latinos and Latinas in the US, and around the globe.

September 27 – Anxious, anyone?

Stress and anxiety levels keep increasing as parents continue to navigate the everyday challenges of dealing with a global pandemic, fires up and down several states, and unhealthy air that keeps us (even more) indoors with our children. What other challenges will parents face this year? For this week’s resource, check out this video below from Six Seconds, where Josh Freedman shares tips for managing stress and anxiety. 

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

What white parents get wrong about raising antiracist kids — and how to get it right. In this Washington Post article, you can learn the misconceptions parents carry about how children develop racial bias and what to do about it.

September 20 – Parenting as an executive

“Many moms are caught in the day-to-day, unpopular middle management grind. The space where we’re living someone else’s dream, monitoring outcomes, maintaining schedules, ensuring the health and wellness of all members…” says Amber Coleman-Mortley, blogger at Mom of All Capes and creator of the popular podcast Let’s K12 Better. Her advice—moving from middle management to executive leadership. That is, delegating tasks and empowering the children to be active contributors. For more details, read Amber’s great post

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

This week, I will be talking with friends at HITN Learning about how to raise children who appreciate diversity and act against racism. Join me on Thursday for a great conversation! Details here.

September 13 – Raising an Adult

Distance learning, working from home, no after-school activities… parents and children are spending A LOT of time together these days. The question is–are parents taking this opportunity to raise kids who are self-sufficient, can handle setbacks and advocate for themselves? Or are they solving their problems and protecting them from failure? If you want to raise resilient and strong children, you need to do the former. Here are some tips from Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

How Mindfulness Can Defeat Racial Bias. In this Greater Good Science Center article, Rhonda Magee talks about how cultivating moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, and surroundings can a solution to implicit racial bias.

August 30 – Social Skills for Zoom

“Socializing is a muscle” says Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. For shy and introverted children, having to “exercise” their social skills again through zoom meetings or in-person instruction, may feel like climbing a mountain with no gear or training. If your child is showing unexpected behaviors, consider what they are trying to communicate through their actions. Going back to school can create stress and anxiety for many children, especially those who are introverted.

As a parent, you can support your children’s social development by discussing their challenges and providing developmentally appropriate choices. Check out these great  tips to support your child by Christine Bader, author and co-founder of The Life I Want, a storytelling project with Eva Dienel.

Anti-Racist Parenting Resource

NPR Podcast CODE SWITCH–It’s the fearless conversations about race that you’ve been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, this podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. It explores how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation—because we’re all part of the story.

August 23 – Back to School!

How are you feeling about the start of the new school year? While some parents may feel relieved that the kids will have structured learning time, others are overwhelmed trying to figure out how to balance distance learning (or a hybrid model) with their own job responsibilities. No matter how you feel, remember that these are very challenging times and that we are all learning as we go.

In order to ease the transition back to distance learning, check out these practical tips to support at-home learning. Here’s to a great start of a school year like no other!

Anti-Racist Parenting

Based on popular demand, I will be sharing one resource each week to help you discuss topics such as racism, discrimination, and equity with your children, and help them (and you!) develop the necessary skills to build social justice. While the 3 bridges to an equity centered SEL, which I created for schools’ use, can be a starting point to understand the necessary shifts, the work is complex and we will need to pull as many resources as possible to make this work happen. Here’s the first resource:

My Racial Equity: A Guide to Racial Literacy. My Racial Journey is a 10-week, guided curriculum aimed at helping us challenge the ways we participate – often unknowingly – in racism by developing basic knowledge and skills about race. Developed at the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development and with the Office’s Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education (P.R.I.D.E.) Program.

Resources to talk with children about racism and injustice

Coronavirus resources for parents

The spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is significantly impacting the lives of many families across the globe.  I will be posting an updated list of curated resources for you and your family to help you discuss coronavirus with your children, ways to set up a work from home/home schooling environment , and how to take care of yourself and each other during this difficult time. If you need any support, please send me a note. I am here for you.

Happy Parenting!

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