Posts tagged: Relationships

Different Kinds of Curiosity

My eldest child likes to figure out how things work. When she was three, she shocked our neighbor by explaining the…

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Kids’ Imaginations

When my children were young, we played all kinds of imaginative games. Sometimes we took our cues from stories we had…

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Easter Around the World

Easter, like many holidays, is both a religious and cultural event. Some families focus on the Christian aspect, some…

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Telling Your Child You’re Seriously Ill

After weeks of endless (and often unkind) speculation, we now know: Princess Kate has cancer. She explains that she and…

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Spiritual Leadership with Kung Fu Panda 4

The Kung Fu Panda movies are some of my kids' favorites. Together, we have watched Po grow from a noodle maker into a…

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Spiritual Care with Seriously Ill Children

When a friend’s daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, everyone around them was shocked and dismayed. We wondered how…

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Help Kids Be Relational Thermostats

“He made me feel bad!” wailed my son after telling me how a friend chose a different playmate at recess. “He…

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Valentine Spirituality

Every year, my kids’ school does a Valentine fundraiser. Parents and grandparents can purchase pink and red…

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Living Black History Projects

It’s Black History Month once again in the U.S., when teachers and group leaders plan lessons celebrating African…

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Fridge Spirituality

My refrigerator is covered in activity schedules, a recycling calendar, family photos, and children’s art. Anyone…

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Dreaming about Racial Equity with Kids

During the Black Lives Matter protests of 2021, my home city (Richmond, VA) struggled with the legacy of several…

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Resolve to Learn Together

People of all ages make personal New Year’s resolutions. Adults resolve to be more patient, develop an exercise…

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Santa Spirituality

For many families, Christmas is - in whole or in part - a cultural rather than a religious holiday. And at the center…

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Dreaming with Wonka

When my eldest was two, she asked if there would be “little meats” for Christmas. I was puzzled and tried…

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Making Religious Meaning with Journey to Bethlehem

During the month of December, many Christian families retell the biblical Christmas story as part of their holiday…

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Exploring Family Relationships with Trolls Band Together

Movies and commercials often highlight traditional families and focus on the joys of being together. But real families…

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Practicing Thanks-Giving

“Let’s go around the room and say something we’re thankful for,” says the teacher. “I’m thankful for apple…

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Kindness Trees

“No, no, no!” said the preschool teacher as she rushed over to a child threatening to hit a playmate. “It’s not…

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Managing Misbehavior with Conscious Discipline

I’m watching a group of children prepare to act out a spiritual story. One child insists on taking the lead role, and…

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Exploring Change with Where is Home, Daddy Bear?

My family moved when I was a child. For the first 6 months, I refused to call the new house ‘home’. I did not want…

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Exploring Community with The Eras Tour Movie

Moviegoers are sporting a special look this fall. Glittery shirts and jackets. Purple jerseys with the number 13 on the…

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Kindness Projects

My children's elementary school had a student committee that planned service projects for every grade. Kids from…

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Acknowledging Hurt & Making Amends

Yom Kippur, the annual Jewish Day of Atonement, begins the evening of Sunday, September 24. It is a time for deep…

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How Curiosity Enhances Relationships

My daughter and her best friend met in 2nd grade. Their first weeks together were spent asking each other questions:…

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Helping Children Find Their Anchors

As we were preparing to move from one state to another, my four year old fell apart. “Where’s my train, my bunny,…

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Community-Building

School buses are back on the streets and pumpkin spice lattes have returned to coffee shops. Children’s backpacks are…

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Making Kindness a Goal

My social media feeds have been flooded with ‘first day of school’ photos. Children stand holding signs proclaiming…

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Seeing Differences through Eyes that Speak to the Stars

Children are often curious about differences. They wonder why someone has red hair instead of brown like them, or…

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Exploring Diversity & Community with Luli and the Language of Tea

Children from several nations gather in a playroom while their parents learn English as a Second Language next door.…

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Movement Meditation: Empathy

Children don’t always get along. Like adults, they get angry with siblings and friends. They feel resentment and…

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Movement Meditation: Awareness

Being aware of one’s surroundings can be an important safety practice. We teach children to pay attention when…

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Exploring The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess

Fairy tales can play a powerful role in children’s lives. Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen has morphed into…

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Exploring Every Little Kindness with Kids

Sometimes a story doesn’t need words to be powerful. That’s the case with Marta Bartolj’s Every Little Kindness,…

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Movement Meditation: Empowerment

Being a small person in a big world can be overwhelming at times. Children may feel overshadowed by the adults around…

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Exploring Values with The Good for Nothing Tree

I have a peach tree in my front yard. Some years, there are lots of peaches and we scramble to pick our share before…

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Exploring Elemental with Kids

A few days ago, one of my children wanted breakfast for dinner, while another preferred Indian. The first argued that…

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Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness

Walking through the farmer’s market last weekend, I overheard a conversation between a coffee vendor and a customer.…

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Building a Strong Image of Children

Sometimes when we talk about children, we focus on what kids can’t do: they can’t walk yet, or they can’t reach…

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Connecting with Nature through Apple and Magnolia

One summer, my kids and I planted a small garden. While our cucumbers and zucchini did well, our tomato plants…

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Exploring Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 with Kids

Marvel’s newest release, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, focuses on Rocket’s origin story as Groot, Mantis, Drax,…

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Generational Spirituality

Spirituality isn’t just a social, emotional, or cultural aspect of life. It’s also biological, passed from…

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Language that Builds Community

“This is a story for Amelia,“ announced the adult leading storytime. “It’s a story for Marcus, and a story for…

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Celebrating Eid al Fitr

After 30 days of fasting, Muslim worldwide mark the end of Ramadan with Eid al Fitr, literally a festival of breaking…

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Exploring Ramadan

Six years ago, I visited Istanbul with two of my children. We were there during Ramadan, which meant we observed…

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Rihanna Spirituality

Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII performance is trending on social media. Several reviewers place it in their all-time top…

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Guided Meditation on Friendship

For children, Valentine’s Day is more about friendship than romance. They’re generally eager to exchange valentine…

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Promoting Restorative Justice

My son’s Montessori school had a ‘peace table’ where children could go to work out disagreements. On it were a…

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Helping Kids Have a ‘Happy’ New Year

“10…9…8…7...6…5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year!” My family celebrated the start of 2023 with sparkling…

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Taylor Swift Spirituality

With her latest album sweeping the top 10 slots on Billboard’s Top 100 - a first for any artist - Taylor Swift is…

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Diwali Spirituality

As fall crops are harvested and days grow shorter, many cultures and religions acknowledge the season with celebrations…

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Getting to Know Children Better

When marketers want to learn about people, they collect data about them. They then use that information to improve how…

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Reflecting on Lyle, Lyle Crocodile with Kids

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile offers several big songs and dance scenes that will engage and excite young moviegoers. But…

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Creating A Culture Of Caring

In 3rd and 4th grade, I participated in an afterschool Kids Club organized by a neighborhood grandmother. I would walk…

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Reexamining Humility as a Spiritual Virtue

Growing up, I was frequently told that good girls should be humble. I was expected to hide my intelligence and avoid…

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Talking about the Queen’s Funeral & Rituals after Death

Less than 24 hours after Queen Elizabeth’s death, media outlets were carrying articles about ‘what to expect’ as…

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Exploring Power & Perseverance with Minions: The Rise of Gru

The new Minions movie has much of the silliness you expect from the Despicable Me franchise.  We watch as young Gru…

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Exploring Lightyear with Children

As long time fans of Toy Story, my children were excited to learn Buzz’s backstory. They watched as Buzz and Alesha…

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Exploring Magic Candies with Children

Imagine a bag of candies with the power to bring your sofa to life and give voice to falling leaves. Would you want to…

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Building Rapport

As Covid-19 transmission risks soar again, concerns about the effects of masking and social distancing on relationships…

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Reading Simon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts

Disney’s popular movie, Turning Red, has called attention to how children struggle with big emotions, especially…

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Modeling Gratitude

“Thank you.” Two simple words we teach children when they’re small and hope they will use often. Giving thanks…

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Imaginative Play & Spirituality

“Do you have a minute?” asked my daughter’s preschool teacher. “Of course,” I replied, “Is something…

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Books for Earth Day

Every year on April 22, more than a billion people take time to reflect on the earth and its importance for human…

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Being Gender Inclusive

I started transgressing gender norms with my children when they were babies. I dressed them in colors and styles…

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Sharing Personal Spiritual Practices

Children’s group leaders often wonder how much to share about their personal lives with young people. We…

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Spiritual ‘projects’ with Operation Sisterhood

Bo’s summer plans completely change when her mother moves into a Harlem brownstone with her fiance and another…

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Spiritual Storytelling with The Last Cuentista

For a book lover like me, one bedtime story often turned into two or three as I tucked my young children in. But I…

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Helping Children Understand Love

I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. It's an opportunity to celebrate relationships with friends and…

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Spiritual Play with Bluey

My sisters and I often engaged in imaginative play when we were growing up. We came up with various pretend situations,…

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Exploring Where Wonder Grows

My dad collected rocks his whole life. He particularly liked geodes: rocks that - when broken open - contained a hidden…

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Digital Spirituality with Young Children

A friend posts a snapshot of her three year old daughter on social media. Sonia* has her head bent over her mom’s…

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Spiritual Reflection with Encanto

Encanto, Disney’s newest animated feature, tells the story of an extraordinary family. Once upon a time, Abuela…

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Expressing Gratitude

An American celebration of Thanksgiving generally involves liberal helpings of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and…

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Developing Spiritual Persistence

I am often so excited when I begin a new spiritual practice, I expect to see immediate benefits. In my enthusiasm, I…

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Empathy Maps

Getting to know the children with whom we work is essential. We learn their names and perhaps ask about their favorite…

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Gender and Sexual Diversity Inclusion

My daughter returned from her third grade ‘Meet the Teacher’ with news she’d heard through friends: a boy in her…

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Back to the ‘Kinda’ Familiar

As a new school year begins, many organizations are planning to welcome children back to in-person programs. But…

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Social Emotional Learning at Home

My second child would become easily overwhelmed as a toddler. If we were shopping at the mall, she would start crying…

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Talking with Kids Under 10

Talking with children seems simple enough, but effective communication is actually more complicated than we think. Our…

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Spiritual Counseling

For many children, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of trauma, grief, and loss. Even if children have come through…

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Identity Portraits

Valuing who we are and respecting others’ identities are crucial to spiritual wellbeing. Every child wants to be seen…

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Trust and Promises

As I left the gym, I overheard a mother tell her young son, “We need to get home right now and get snacks together…

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Learning to Forgive

Sibling squabbles were a daily part of life when my children were preschoolers. They erupted when one child would steal…

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Spiritual Connectedness

One of my favorite preschool parenting moments was watching my children chase fireflies around our backyard on a summer…

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Self-Esteem vs. Narcissism

In Wonder Woman 1984, young Diana, Amazon princess of Themyscira, desperately wants to win a competition. She is in the…

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Using Virtual Rooms to Strengthen Community

Over the past year, teachers, therapists, librarians, and others have created virtual rooms with bitmoji to engage…

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Spiritually Rich Virtual Interactions

As we slowly move back to regular in-person contact, part of a new normal will likely include virtual presence for many…

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Young Children and Connectedness

The other day, my tween son and I were talking and laughing as we sorted through piles of nursery artwork I have stored…

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Relationships as Roots

Dr. Eugene Roehlkepartain has noticed that when adults say relationships with kids matter, they really mean parents…

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