Snack tokens

Making sweet tokens stick

Snack Tokens blog post

Our Sweet Token experiment was working wonderfully—for about 3 hours. “I want another cookie.” “Do you have a sweet token?” “No, I already used them both.” “So what’s the answer?” “But I want a cookie!”

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The saddest story ever told

See things from another perspective

The saddest story ever told

Octavia Octopus and her fishy friends escape the hungry shark. The End. I put down the book. “That’s the saddest story I’ve ever heard,” I say. “That poor, hungry shark.” ”But Octavia escaped. It’s a

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The magic blanket trick

How to make a bad mood disappear

magic blanket

We were having fun together all afternoon. Then over the course of 5 minutes, for no obvious reason, my adorable playmate turns into a little monster. He throws toys. He makes loud, annoying sounds. He

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Not learning to read

Children will learn only when they’re ready

Not learning to read

His last couple weeks in preschool, Kubla showed an avid interest in reading. He would spell out the letters on signs, license plates, anything. I declared this would be the summer he learned to read.

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Stop using your mind powers!

Turn frustration into a game

Stop using your mind powers

Kubla and his friends are watching a movie on Netflix. The connection is a little ropey. It keeps starting and stopping. The natives grow restless. The movie stops again. “Kubla, stop using your mind powers!”

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Pick up your popsicle stick

Is your goal to just not make things worse? Or to make things better?


It finally stopped raining. The sun warmed the playground. Someone brought popsicles. The kids finish their popsicles. They stir the muddy puddles with the naked sticks, making whirlpools. Their curiosity wanes. They throw the sticks

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Maybe his butt fell asleep?

Turn frustration at other people into a game


Kubla was waiting in line for the swing. The other kid just wouldn’t get off. He asks politely if he could have a turn. The other kid ignores him. I try to convince my boy

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I am not a baby’s marionette

Change the rules of the game


Like most babies, Kubla loved to drop things and make me pick them up. Like most parents, I quickly got tired of being a baby’s marionette. One day I decide to change the game. Kubla

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Do it together

Why watch your child play when you could play together?


When Kubla and I go to the park to play, we both go to the park to play. I don’t just tag along to keep him safe. I play with him and his friends (tag

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Let’s look for Mom

Get them moving and acting on their fears, instead of feeling controlled by them


As a toddler Kubla was very attached to Liping. He couldn’t bear to be away from her. Kubla and I are playing with blocks. I hear the dreaded question,“Where’s Mom?” “She’s doing some errands. She’ll

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