Try harder

Kids are more capable than they and the grown-ups around them realize

Try harder

When Kubla was two years old, he thought the words for ‘Open it’ were ‘Try harder’. He would hand me a jar to open. I would hand it back and say try harder. He would

Continue Reading...

The Impulse Monster

Kubla and I love Japanese monster movies. Ultraman, Godzilla, and Mothra all have pride of place in his imagination. We’ve whiled away many an afternoon battling monsters—he’s always the hero, saving the bad guy role

Continue Reading...

Not learning to swim

Teaching Kubla to swim in 2 years and 15 minutes

not learning to swim

I had been teaching Kubla to swim for 2 years. We spent lots of time at the pool and beach, but he just wouldn’t put his face in the water. He did get very adept

Continue Reading...

I think that little kid wants to talk to you

What does it take to stop a fight before it starts? (9th of a 9 part series)


Kubla and I are playing in the park. The big kids, 4th graders, are in the basketball court. We smell trouble in the air. Kubla edges closer so he can overhear their conversation. “When I see

Continue Reading...

Use your powers

Use their powerful imaginations to crowd out their fears (8th of a 9 part series)

Use your powers--8 of 9

Kubla is afraid to enter the dark room. He wants me to go in first. “Kubla, just use your powers to light up the room.” He looks at me, not sure what to do. I

Continue Reading...

That’s not how we do things around here

In the face of evil, will you stand by or stand up? (7th of a 9 part series)

Thats not how we do things around here--7 of 9

Kubla had been training to be a hero for weeks. He was ready to unleash his powers on the playground. His friends, a brother and sister, are on the slide. Kubla joins their play. After

Continue Reading...

Sure glad it wasn’t me

Stick up for your friends (6th of a 9 part series)

Sure glad it wasn't me--6 of 9

I pick up Kubla and his friend from preschool. His friend is a little sad. Something happened at school. Turns out another boy was excluding him. “Kubla, what did you do when your friend was

Continue Reading...

First Bully

How should you respond when someone is mean to you? (5th of a 9 part series)

First Bully--5 of 9

After preschool, Kubla’s nanny often took him to play with an older neighborhood boy. I start to hear stories about this boy, how he teases Kubla, calling him a toddler, trying to make him unhappy.

Continue Reading...

Cape of courage

Security blankets come in many forms (4th of a 9 part series)

Cape of courage--4 of 9

Kubla didn’t want to go to preschool. He missed Liping too much. I wait for him to stop crying and calm down. I pretend to fish for something in my pocket. “I know it’s in

Continue Reading...

Superhero Patrol

Keeping the neighborhood safe and nice for everyone (3rd of a 9 part series)

Superhero Patrol--3 of 9

After a week of superhero training, Kubla is ready to go on patrol. He puts on his costume—mask, cape, super-serious crime-fighting face, Batman onesie. We start walking around the block, on the lookout for evil.

Continue Reading...