These short videos are filled with parenting and social-emotional learning tips and insights.

Navigating Middle School #4

When I asked preteens to share the “tricky” parts of middle school, one of the most frequent comments I heard was “crushes and dating.”  Full blog post

Navigating Middle School #3

When I asked preteens to share the “tricky” parts of middle school, one of the most frequent comments I heard was “popularity.”  Full blog post

Navigating Middle School #2

Friendship changes can be hard at any age, especially during the preteen and teen years. This article shares insights I learned from students about navigating changes. Full blog post

Navigating Middle School #1

Feeling judged or fearing judgment by peers is difficult, especially during adolescence when fitting in and being accepted are at a high point. . Full blog post

Friendship Truth #9

The social networks of kids and teens are complex webs. Because this network is intertwined, it is no easy task for kids who want to stop engaging with someone.  Full blog post

Friendship Truth #8

We all have different temperaments, skills, experiences, and needs. Because of these differences, it makes sense that two people in the same conflict may respond differently .Full blog post

Friendship Truth #7

Preteen and teen friendships may feel fragile, so it makes sense that kids may or may not speak up when someone is not treating them well. Full blog post

Friendship Truth #6

Yes, of course, everyone makes mistakes. We are human, after all. But, mistakes in our friendships and close relationships are sometimes difficult to navigate and repair. Full blog post

Friendship Truth #5

Starting around 4th grade, the term “popular” emerges in kids’ conversations about their social world. When I ask kids what makes someone “popular,” their responses reflect a consistent set of traits and behaviors. .  Full blog post

Friendship Truth #4

A study found that most children (80%) experienced periods of feeling lonely at school. Friendship Truth #4, close friends can be hard to find, helps kids navigate friendship changes and gaps with the awareness that it is normal.  Full blog post

Friendship Truth #3

Friendship changes and instability are the norms during the preteen and teen years, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult. Full blog post

Friendship Truth #2

When we emphasize that social skills are learned and improve with practice, it opens the door to personal growth and change.Full blog post

Friendship Truth #1

These “Friendship Truths” eventually grew into the framework for BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends)? A Girls Guide to Happy Friendships. I’ll dive into the nine Friendship Truths in this series of posts, starting with #1.Full blog post

The Friendship Pyramid

To clarify the different phases and qualities of friendships, I sketched out the first draft of the Friendship Pyramid on a notepad. Over time, the Pyramid grew into the framework I use to help kids navigate their social world. Full blog post

5 Ways to Connect With Your Family Today

As our kids grow, there are fewer moments to connect, so it’s even more important to be fully present. Luckily, each day brings a new opportunity to practice. Full blog post

The Surprising Benefits of Family Dinner

Studies find that family dinner offers benefits such as increased academic performance, lower obesity rates, improved well-being, and more. Full blog post

The Gift of Deep Listening

It’s easy to fall into advice or fix-it mode with our kids, colleagues, and friends instead of deeply listening. But, often, the best way to help others grow is simply to listen. And there’s no better way to build connection and trust.. Full blog post

3 Steps to Navigate Family Conflict More Peacefully

Conflict and arguments are inevitable in close relationships, especially with kids and families. When practiced regularly, these three steps will transform arguments in your home. Full blog post

5 Steps to Healthy Communication

Healthy communication happens when two people or a group have a discussion, and those involved feel heard and respected. The goal is to better understand the other person or resolve a problem, not to win or overpower. Full blog post

Fitting-In Vs. Belonging at School…and Home

I’ve been spending time in classrooms doing research for my new book. I’m exploring the “weird stuff” that happens in middle school. I’ve asked over 100 tweens and teens, what should be included in this book and the responses have been powerful. Full blog post

Parents: Understanding the Power of Our Words

In today’s world, it’s so easy to get caught up in “negativity bias,” the human tendency to pay much more attention to the bad things that happen. Our thoughts and words tend to focus more on the negative, overpowering the positive. Full blog post

3 Ways to Cultivate a Respectful Home…and World

Cultivating a home filled with respect does not mean there is no conflict or hurt feelings. We are human after all. But when things are hard, try to make sure everyone feels heard and nobody is thrown under the bus. Full blog post

3 Phrases to Avoid If You Want to Connect With Your Kids

Words matter. This post shares parent phrases to avoid and what to say instead to connect and foster well-being in kids and teens. Full blog post

The Yoda Way to Guide Kids through Friendship Struggles

As parents, it’s hard to see our kids struggle. We want to alleviate their pain and solve problems, so we jump right in and offer quick solutions.  But often, our efforts only make US feel better. And we miss the opportunity to help our kids navigate their emotions, feel heard and develop healthy relational skills. Full blog post

4 Key Relationship Skills for Families

There’s scientific evidence that healthy relationships are foundational to a healthy life. But in childhood or as a young adult did you ever learn the skills that lead to healthy relationships? Parenthood has definitely been my gateway to growth. Here are four relationship skills that I’ve found to be really important in my family. Full blog post