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We’re Not Birds!

Some birds won’t learn to fly unless their mother pushes them out of the nest. Many parents of teenagers assume that we need to do the same thing for our teens. But guess what? We’re not birds! In addition to not having literal wings, the trajectory of our development happens in a different way than…

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Playdates?…No thanks!

I remember my relief when I first heard Dr. Gordon Neufeld, in talking about peer orientation, say that playdates weren’t important. I couldn’t believe my ears! Did he really say that playdates (and “socialization”), which were touted by teachers, pediatricians and parenting books everywhere as necessary for healthy development, weren’t necessary…and that they might even…

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The Magic of “Once-Removed”

  Do you know about the magic of “once-removed”? Children need to feel their vulnerable feelings—sadness, loneliness, longing, loss—in order to mature. In fact, emotion is the engine of maturation. Children don’t get to choose which feelings they feel: either they feel them (all) or they don’t feel them (at all). The vulnerable ones are…

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Raising Future Adults in Tumultuous Times

Oh, these days. These enraging, difficult days where women are reminded how little (many of) those in power care about our humanity; where we are reminded that our bodies are so often seen as the playthings of men (“the laughter is indelible in the hippocampus”), and where the pain caused by being treated with such…

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Making Space for All of It

Sometimes when my teenager is feeling sad he wonders if it’s actually such a good thing to feel things so deeply. He muses to me that if he didn’t he wouldn’t have to feel sad. He has a good point; when our hearts are soft they feel a lot. But, in good time, I remind…

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