Support for Raising Teens

This post is sponsored by the Center for Parent and Teen Communication.  All opinions (and memories!) are my own.

She has come so far. When you slow down to think about it, this is nothing short of amazing.

Then….

I’ll never forget the day my daughter made her first attempt to communicate using sign language. We had been teaching a few basic signs for the words more, light, eat, drink, and sleep. Those concepts that help parents communicate with babies and toddlers before they can use words and can prevent tantrums and frustration. We really needed that. I was holding her on my hip in her bedroom after a bath. I had flipped on the light to change her diaper and she looked up, her slate blue eyes seeing the shiny overhead light as if for the very first time. She took her tiny fingers, put them in a ball, and then opened them, looking up, and pointing with the other hand. She was making the sign for light. “Yes!” I said, “Light!” Her face lit up (oh yes, I meant that pun!) in understanding. She was glowing, exuberant, satisfied.

We understood each other.

Now…

As I watch her sprint toward the finish line at a cross country race, I see all at once this same determination, spirit, and courage. She juggles homework, her love of reading for hours on end, practices, and time with her sister on a daily basis, while remaining curious, open and kind. How incredible is it that these people we helped learned the basics of communication and how the world works can do all of these things at once now? Continue reading

You Do You: a collection of essays about raising strong girls

It’s been a week that was many years long.

via GIPHY

One thing is clear. We have a lot of work to do to dismantle the culture of sexism that we are raising our kids in.  It’s each of our responsibilities to challenge the gender stereotypes, toxic masculinity, and rape culture that persists at the highest levels in our institutions. One way to do this is to provide our kids with books that showcase women and girls sharing their stories, perspectives, voices and experiences. Luckily, we now have a new book that does just THAT, across generations, out just this week. I’m proud to have a poem in this new anthology.

You Do You is the sixth book in the New York Times best selling I Just Want to Pee Alone series, which has tackled a variety of topics since 2012 – including parenthood, relationships, and the cult of female perfection – all with a broad range of voices, from the cynical, to the ugly-cry, to the outright hilarious. Continue reading

New Salamander Defenders: School Visits!

 

We have legions of new salamander defenders!

Lucky me: I have had the chance to visit several schools since the launch of Salamander Sky in March, from pre-kindergarten to grade 6.  Kids big and small love learning about mysterious creatures that come out at night in their own backyards.

Last month I headed down to three schools in the Middlebury area. I met 400 new friends at the Mary Hogan School. The gym was full of kids excited to learn about these secretive creatures, to see recent pictures of the crossing, and to meet herpetologist Jim Andrews and Audubon salamander crossing guard Carol Ramsayer.

Then I headed to Beeman Elementary for a a inquistive group of about 60 kids ready to learn about salamanders. They were treated to Carol’s mini salamander crossing set up and helped me take care of Sky, my pet (fake) spotted salamander.  Thanks so much to Susie Snow for hosting us, and for writing up this blog post about the event! Continue reading