Sparkle Report: Week of March 6


Good Afternoon Sparklers,

Happy International Women’s Day!  Interestingly, the earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909 right here in New York.  I know I don’t need to tell all of you the importance that we all speak up and ask for what we need whether you’re a man, woman, child, animal or plant. And what a week of surprises — from Uber to the warmer weather to the love between sisters showcased at the iHeartRadio Awards show Sunday night when Miley Cyrus’ younger sister Noah put on an amazing performance.

Have a great week.

Love and Learning,


 To Do… Set Your Girl Up With Some Crafts And A Cause

Kids are awesome. And they’re even more awesome when they find something they really care about and then use their hobbies or talents to support that cause! For instance, since visiting an animal sanctuary for pets in need of a home, my daughter has started selling homemade stress balls (balloons as the outside, a flour-water mix for the “squish” on the inside) to support animal rescue. We even logged onto Fiverr together to create a logo for her small business! And for three years now, my son is using his love of cooking to raise money for an orphanage he visited while traveling abroad. It’s great to see kids get dedicated to something early on and find out that they can in fact make a difference!

Spark the Conversation: 
It’s important for our children to learn to give back. And it’s a plus if they can find a way to do that which also fuels them creatively. How can your girls use their passions to help others? While volunteering your time with an organization you love is always great, as you can see from my kids, the two things don’t even necessarily have to be connected! Stress balls and animals, cooking and the orphanage – it sounds random, but the money generated from one thing can give back to the other! What would your girl enjoy doing that would also help out a cause she cares about?

To Buy … A Double Piercing?

Around middle school age, girls start asking for a second piercing in their ears. Next up is the cartilage piercing at the top of the ear (Yikes!)  Lots of us moms had double or even triple piercings once upon a time, and many of us have had those “holes” close up now. So what’s a parent to do if this request comes along? Exactly what you’ve been doing all along!  Stop and think about what your family’s values are. What are your views on self-expression?  Girls are finding ways to express themselves through their fashion and clothing choices, their jewelry and piercings, and even body art. What’s the difference between this piercing and the first regular ol’ ear piercing that you allowed her to get? Perhaps it could teach her a little bit about self-care (taking care of her ear post-piercing ) and lets her know that you’re there for her to help make thoughtful decisions about HER body.  On the plus side, this decision is not permanent, so if she ends up hating it or grows out of it, it’ll close up on its own!

Spark the Conversation: 
What are your thoughts on individuality? How can a person showcase it during their lifetime? Does your family hold certain religious beliefs surrounding using one’s “body” as a means for self-expression?  There’s really no right answer!  This topic makes for a great springboard into some philosophical questions about self-expression you can ask your girl. They’ll help you to get inside her head in order to understand exactly why she might want a second ear piercing. Is she following the crowd or trying to stand out? (Because that matters!) Or does she simply want a place to put all those single earrings that she lost the pair!?

To Learn … “There Are No Boring Things, Just Boring People”

Remember that line your parents would drop on you when you complained during long car trips? Well, two recent studies confirmed that allowing ourselves to be bored may lead us to states of deeper thoughtfulness and creativity. So basically, scientists believe boredom GETS people deeper into their minds.

In both studies, participants subjected to boring tasks (like copying numbers out of a phone book or watching a dull screensaver) came up with more creative solutions and more word associations than their entertained counterparts. Turns out we have a natural need to fill our empty brain space, and without things like Instagram, Candy Crush, or compulsively checking the views on our Snap stories, we’re forced to fill our heads with actual thoughts (Gasp!). Texas A&M University psychologist Heather Lench calls this entering the “daydreaming” state.

When was the last time you found yourself daydreaming? For a lot of us adults, not since we were stuck in class, before the age of cell phones. Ms. Lench and other scientists compare distracting ourselves with technology to eating junk food and we all know how that makes us feel in the big picture.

Spark the Conversation: 
So, how can we harness the power of boredom? Jerry Seinfeld, for one, forces himself to write by locking himself in his office every morning with nothing more than a blue Bic pen and a legal pad. Other people prefer long baths or tech-free commutes.

Think of your (and your girl’s) daily schedule. What time of day lends itself to a little boredom? The drive from school to practice, maybe? Or how about right before bed? It sounds crazy, but use that time to be bored. Your girl might especially appreciate it when she has a problem to solve. Tell her that her brain can do it — without Google — if it just had a little downtime to process.

To Think About … Good Digital Citizenship

When you think about rules for sharing on social media, you may not know where to start. But it’s really just the same ol’ basic principles of being a solid human being that we were taught growing up. You know, “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” type stuff. As parents, we have to role model the good behavior we want to see in our kids. We have to be by our girls’ sides rather than hover around them constantly monitoring their use of technology. I actually made some practical rules for posting on social media that are easy for you and your girls to remember. For example, I recommend asking something like, “Would your grandma want to see that?” or “Would you say that in real life?” It’s common sense really, but they’re things we might forget when we’ve got our noses to the screen.

Spark the Conversation: 
Check out my one sheet Think B4 U Post of tips and share them with your girl. See how she approaches posting things online. Ask her if she ever thinks about how literally nothing on the Internet is private or if her grandma would want to see her Instas! Does she ever stop herself from posting things? (Because we’ve all done that *type, type, type, pause, think, backspace, backspace, never mind, cancel* maneuver in front of our laptops.)

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