“Let’s Talk About…”
is a regular Tiger Tidbits newsletter column addressing all things middle school parenting related. 

All historical topics and articles are listed below.

Can't Shush This

ROZANNA BARANETS
SPMS LIBRARIAN
5/10/2024

When I first started working at my middle school, I met with an educator friend of mine who knew the place well.  She was the principal at one of our elementary schools and was curious about my new position as Library Assistant.  “What is with the parakeets in your library?  Who on earth thought screechy birds were a good idea?”  I confessed I didn’t know.  But a few days into my job, they made all the sense in the world.  continue reading>

Summer: A Time to Prioritize our Wellbeing

NATASHA STEBBINS
SPMS "TRAIN YOUR BRAIN" COUNSELOR
5/28/2023

Summer time is upon us and the race to find ways to keep our children busy this summer break has been well underway. In fact, during a recent chat with some parents, I realized that parents were feeling stressed about how to fill up their children’s upcoming free time. I heard a variety of concerns, like coordinating drop-off and pick-up, cost and distance of activities, coordinating with planned and unplanned vacations, co-parenting on a different schedule, avoiding learning loss, making sure summer isn’t spent on devices and children’s overall wellbeing. continue reading>

Grieving Together

NATASHA STEBBINS
SPMS "TRAIN YOUR BRAIN" COUNSELOR
4/9/2023

This week we experienced the unthinkable and heartbreaking loss of a valuable member of our SPMS and South Pasadena community. As our community grieves, we may struggle with how to talk to and answer the questions our children have about death, grief and loss. We may struggle with our own grief, which can lead to additional challenges in processing and supporting our children. Some caregivers may have never engaged in discussions about death with their children, while others may have had to discuss painful losses. continue reading>

Learning to Let Go

NATASHA STEBBINS
SPMS "TRAIN YOUR BRAIN" COUNSELOR
2/26/2023

When I look back on the time as I prepared to be a first-time mom, I recall gathering information from other caregivers and parenting sites on baby gear, sleeping, feeding, and milestones. What I don’t remember is ever really being told just how much parenting would involve letting go. As my children have developed into more independent humans, making their own decisions, I have at times felt unprepared for how to manage this emotionally and, more importantly, in my parenting style. From the moment children are born, the process of letting go begins and in adolescence caregivers and their children often reach new levels of stress in determining just how much independence is manageable for the child and the caregiver. continue reading>

Don't Ask Me. Go Look Up

ROZANNA BARANETS
SPMS LIBRARIAN
2/19/2023

There is one book in the library that I will never get rid of. A painful part of every library worker’s job is to go through this process called “weeding” – the systematic culling of books from your collection that are obsolete, falling apart or otherwise haven’t been checked out in years.  In order to make way for new material, the old stuff’s gotta go.  No one likes making those decisions and we usually put them off as long as possible.  Who wants to kick books out of a library? But the 1993 Webster’s Third New International Dictionary is not going anywhere. continue reading>

Power of the Deep Read

ROZANNA BARANETS
SPMS LIBRARIAN
12/18/2022

One of the many topics I find myself mulling over more than most involves digital versus printed books.  Recently, my largely un-scientific hunches got a boost of validation when I listened to UCLA Education Professor and children’s literacy advocate Maryanne Wolf share her thoughts on the matter in an Ezra Klein podcast about The Power of the Deep Read. continue reading>

Anxiety: Is This Normal?

NATASHA STEBBINS
SPMS "TRAIN YOUR BRAIN" COUNSELOR
10/23/2022

This is a common question when it comes to anxiety as well as the range of moods tweens and teens often experience… continue reading>

Supporting Our Children in Managing Anxiety, Part 2

NATASHA STEBBINS
SPMS "TRAIN YOUR BRAIN" COUNSELOR
9/25/2022

When it comes to managing anxiety, we can never have too many tools in our toolbox.  What works for one person, may not work for another. In this article, I’m rounding up some methods I have found helpful in supporting students during times of distress, and I hope some of these can help you in supporting your child. continue reading>

A Different Take on Anxiety

NATASHA STEBBINS
SPMS "TRAIN YOUR BRAIN" COUNSELOR
9/11/2022

Worried. Nervous. Scared. Stressed.  There are so many ways to describe anxious feelings, and more and more we are hearing children express feeling overwhelmed and anxious for a variety of reasons.  continue reading>