Mindfulness Baskets: A Simple Tool to Ease the Spirit

September 20th, 2020|

What is a Mindfulness Basket? Mindfulness, Calming, or Calm Down Baskets are boxes, containers, or baskets that hold various items that are used for calming and regulating. The basket is a tool that helps with grounding and relaxation, so it can be used as a regular mindfulness practice. It’s also particularly helpful with soothing upset feelings. How

“How Do I Get My Kids to Behave?”

June 28th, 2020|

As a family therapist, I’ve been asked some version of this question many times throughout the years. Sometimes it’s framed as a request for tools, strategies, “tips and tricks,” or general methods for eliciting cooperation; sometimes it’s a plea for help. Sixteen years ago, when I began working with children and families, the predominant approach to parenting

What Is Mindful Parenting?

June 22nd, 2020|

I started this blog in March to share resources as we began the process of adjusting to extraordinary life circumstances. With so much uncertainty in the world these past three months, my blog posts have been focused on building resilience, managing stress, and most recently, compassionate allyship. This project became a tangible way for me to be

The Practice of Imperfect Allyship

June 15th, 2020|

The last three weeks have been crushing and heartbreaking as the trauma of racism has once again been exposed in our collective consciousness. Still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people across the United States and around the world have been engaging in civil rights protests to support Black Lives Matter and to speak

Talking with Kids about the Protests

June 8th, 2020|

One of my primary parenting goals is to raise conscious humans. I teach my kids about cultural competence and to stand up for what’s right. We talk as a family about race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic issues and how we think about the evolution of our worldviews. A guiding principle of their education is that understanding and

Managing Stress in Close Quarters: Part Two

May 17th, 2020|

We’re in the ninth week of sheltering in place. As family members continue to work and learn at home together, trying to meet individual and family needs while navigating a range of emotions, it’s important to continue practicing strategies that reduce stress and overwhelm. In Managing Stress in Close Quarters: Part One, I wrote about simplifying routines, maintaining

Managing Stress in Close Quarters: Part One

May 11th, 2020|

We’re in the eighth week of sheltering in place. Families are appreciating more time together, and they’re also experiencing increasing tension, frustration, and irritability. In this time of crisis, loss, and uncertainty, we are experiencing a range of feelings as individuals, as families, and, of course, collectively as well. This turmoil is to be expected. Our emotional responses

Supporting Teens and Tweens through the Pandemic

May 3rd, 2020|

Many teens and tweens are rightly worried about the economic, social, and health-related dangers associated with the novel coronavirus. For some, the impacts are clear and concrete: someone they know has contracted COVID-19 or saw her job disappear overnight. For others, the risks seem abstract, as sickness or financial distress loom only on a distant horizon. Either way,

Part Four in the Resilience-Building Series: Grounding

April 27th, 2020|

What is Grounding? Grounding, centering, calming, soothing. These words are often used interchangeably. Grounding, though, is about noticing how your body connects to and is supported by the ground beneath it. When I teach this tool to clients, I often say that grounding is about bringing a sense of yourself into the present moment, through your connection to

Part Three in the Resilience-Building Series: Resourcing

April 19th, 2020|

What is a Resource and Why is It Important? Last week, I shared the idea of using sensory tools to bring balance back to the nervous system. This week, I’m going to share a tool called resourcing that I first encountered during my Trauma Resiliency Model certification. A resource is anything that brings a sense of calm, peace,

Part Two in the Resilience-Building Series: Sensory Tools

April 12th, 2020|

What are Sensory Tools and Why are they Helpful? Sensory tools refer to using your five senses to regulate, or bring balance to, the nervous system. Regulating the nervous system is also referred to as grounding. Using these tools helps to build resilience. Last week I talked about turning inward and scanning the body as a way to

Part One in the Resilience-Building Series: Tracking the Nervous System

April 6th, 2020|

Did you know that we can increase resilience in our nervous systems? I’ve said to clients this week that we should look at this current crisis as a marathon and not a sprint. I know that may sound discouraging. What I mean is that we need to pace ourselves. If our nervous systems are ramped up to ten

Advice to Parents from Veteran Homeschoolers

March 29th, 2020|

This past week, I reached out to my local homeschooling community for words of support and wisdom to offer to all of the parents who have suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves thrust into the world of homeschooling. I received over 50 incredibly thoughtful responses and I've organized their collective wisdom into two main themes: Social/Emotional and Logistical.

Staying Calm During the Coronavirus: Coping Strategies

March 17th, 2020|

In light of the global spread of the coronavirus, there are a lot of changes that we’ve been required to make in the past several weeks. Understandably, this has left many of us on-edge, anxious, worried, and overwhelmed. I hope that these ideas will provide some encouragement and support as this crisis unfolds. Know that you’re not alone.

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