The perceived danger of hope


I have been thinking about family legacies of trauma (I’m working on a longer blog post about that) and one of the things I’ve been thinking about is that when a family knows that the worst things can happen, hope can become a dangerous thing. Not every family that experiences trauma is like this, obviously, but it’s common because people … Read More

What the boys think

What boys think

I’ve been thinking about middle school girls and I’ve been thinking about middle school boys and what a mess it all is to be 12 or 13 and trying to figure this whole thing out, this boy/girl thing and this masculinity/femininity thing. (My youngest just started middle school and the social life of middle schoolers has become the center of … Read More

Babies and Someone Else


Babies need loving, responsive adults to make them whole. This is best illustrated by watching the still face study, which was created by Ed Tronick, a developmental psychologist. This version is done with dads (a great reminder that it’s parents — not just moms – who matter to babies). (You can see a version with older kids here.) When the … Read More

Good parenting doesn’t always feel good

good parenting doesn't always feel good

Parenting is often joyous, rewarding, fulfilling and fun. Parenting is also often lousy, frustrating and draining. This is because parenting is a relationship and relationships are both wonderful and hard. And it’s also because the parent/child dynamic is full of complications and expectations that are hard to manage on a good day let alone on the day when you forgot to set your alarm … Read More

Kids outgrow everything

Kids outgrow things

One of my hardest parenting lessons happened when my son was about a year and a half. Seemingly overnight, my lovely little blue-eyed baby turned into a tiny hissing grouch monster with flailing feet and fists. He went from generally amenable around transitions to someone I had to carry kicking and screaming from grandma’s house, the resale shop and various restaurants. … Read More