mother-child-1920×300

Guide. Inspire. Play.

Parenting Practice of the Month: Wait and Wonder

Last month, in the midst of an extended heatwave, on the cusp of his turning three-and-a-half, our son Roo's behavior took a dramatic turn for the worse. For one long week in late July the quiet, sweet-natured boy we knew was replaced with a stranger...

Spiritual Practice of the Month: Curiosity Walk

This month, take a walk, add some pretend play, and see what new things you and yours can discover in familiar places.Our after-dinner (or, when the days get short, pre-dinner) walk around the block has been a cherished ritual and an integral part of our...

On Curiosity

Last week, when told to wash his hands, my three-year-old son instead "washed" five brand-new rolls of toilet paper---"just to see what would happen." What happened is that we---his parents---spent the next half hour scooping the rapidly disintegrating shreds of tissue from the sink drain...

Five Read-Alouds for Freedom

The days are long and the weather's hot! If you're headed to the library or bookstore this week in search of air-conditioning, make sure to check out these titles---they've helped our family explore the theme of "Freedom" together this month.(Click titles for more.)1. Best classic:...

Playlist: Five for Freedom

Searching for a natural, casual way to explore freedom with your children this month? Try music! Our family is using these songs throughout the day---in the car, while doing chores together, at bedtime, etc.---to spark thoughtful, age-appropriate conversations on different aspects of the theme.Click on...

On Joy, #4: A Summer Survival Guide

Let's be honest: it's easy to feel joy in June. The breeze is cool, the grass is green, and every trip to the beach or playground is a new adventure. But July and August stretch before us with their excessive heat and their boredom and...

On Joy, #3: Two Precepts for Summer Parenting

I'm having a couple of problems.The first is that lately I have begun to crave silence during the day---periods of quiet and stillness in which to do the things I love.Which brings me to my second (not unrelated) problem: the children. This summer my house...

On Joy, #2: An Open Letter to My Son After Orlando

Dear Roo,Something terrible happened yesterday. You know that already because you saw me crying: I cried while we picked up litter in the park, while we washed and dried the dishes, while we played. I told you I was sad because a man made...

On Joy, #1: We Know

Joy. We can't define it, can't describe it---not precisely. But our bodies know.We know joy because we have shivered with it. Because we have felt it settle over us like a mist, a bit of heaven brought low. Joy is unpredictable.We know joy because it...

On Celebration, #4: Five Reasons

This week, from our family to yours, a list:FIVE REASONS TO BUILD CELEBRATIONS INTO YOUR FAMILY'S ROUTINEBecause the days are long---and the weeks are REALLY long.There are many reasons to celebrate, but the most practical and alluring one, if you're the parent or caregiver of...