Making Caring Common
Raising kids who care about others and the common good.

Resources for Families

Welcome to Making Caring Common’s Resources for Families, Parents, and Caregivers!

We offer tips, resources lists, discussion guides, and more, which we hope you will use with your kids. You can review the list of resources below or click to sort by the following topics: Bias, College Admissions, Gender, Raising Caring Kids, Romantic Relationships, Sexual Harassment and Misogyny, Working with Schools


Welcome to Making Caring Common’s Resources for Families, Parents, and Caregivers!

We offer tips, resources lists, discussion guides, and more, which we hope you will use with your kids. Our work includes key topics, all connected by our commitment to forefront caring and concern for the common good at school, at home, and in our communities. You can review the list of resources below or use the dropdown to sort by topic.


For Families: Ethical Parenting in the College Admissions Process

Parents and other primary caregivers shape their children’s moral development in myriad ways. They also often influence every phase of the college preparation, search, and admissions process.

Yet the troubling reality is that a great many parents are fundamentally failing to prepare young people to be caring, ethical community members and citizens. That’s true in part because of the degree to which parents have elevated achievement and demoted concern for others as the primary goal of child-raising.

In the following seven guideposts, we explore specifically how parents can guide their teen ethically, reduce excessive achievement pressure, and promote key ethical, social, and emotional capacities in teens in the college admissions process.

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For Families: 5 Tips for Cultivating Empathy

Empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human. It’s a foundation for acting ethically, for good relationships of many kinds, for loving well, and for professional success. And it’s key to preventing bullying and many other forms of cruelty. How can parents cultivate empathy? The following are five guideposts based on research and the wisdom of practitioners.

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For Families: Questions to Ask Schools

Parents and caretakers want to ensure that their children are safe, respected, and able to learn when they are at school. But many parents and caretakers feel that they don’t know what happens inside school walls. When parents and school leaders talk together about what the school is doing to create a safe and caring community, everyone can learn and engage in positive change efforts. You can set up a time to ask these questions of the principal, assistant principal, or guidance counselor. You can send a letter with some or all of the questions. You can also share them with the parent representatives on your school’s parent council. You can suggest that parents and school staff work together to pick a few questions that are most important for your school community and meet on a regular basis to work on them.

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For Families: Sexual Harassment and Misogyny Resource List

The following is a partial list of resources for parents interested in preventing misogyny and sexual harassment.

These resources offer useful activities, information, websites, programs, and curricula. While we think each of the identified resources contains valuable information, we do not endorse all the recommendations or views in these resources. Some of the resource descriptions listed below have been pulled from organizational websites.

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For Families: 5 Tips for Preventing and Reducing Gender Bias

We all carry biases that are based on gender; throughout our lives we receive daily messages about what is expected of different genders. These biases become ingrained and it’s often impossible to completely get rid of them. But, if we can be more aware of our biases, we have a better chance of counteracting them. Use these tips and suggestions for understanding and addressing bias with your kids.

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For Families: Leaning Out Report Discussion Guide

Discussing gender can be challenging. For some youth, this is an immensely personal or even heated topic that brings up questions of equality and privilege. Others may question whether gender biases even exist. Finally, the idea that biases can be implicit—and discrimination unconscious—may itself be a novel, challenging concept to some teenagers. Fortunately, the payoff in broaching these topics is huge. By allowing children to explore this topic, share ideas for improvement, and participate in community-building and empathy-promoting activities, you are taking steps towards ensuring that your home is a place where everyone is respected, supported, and empowered.

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For Families: Conversation Starters for Creating a Sane, Healthy College Admissions Process with Your Teen

As a parent, you have a vital role to play in ensuring that the college admissions process reinforces important values and motivates your children to undertake activities that will allow them and others to thrive as adults. The discussion guide below is intended to help parents and their children ensure that the college admissions process is meaningful and constructive.

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For Families: 5 Tips for More 'Caring' College Admissions

The college admissions process is a major rite of passage and a formative experience in which students receive powerful messages from adults—including parents, guidance counselors and admissions officers—about what these adults and society value. As a parent, you have a vital role to play in ensuring that this process reinforces important values and motivates your children to undertake meaningful activities that will better enable them to contribute to others and thrive as an adult. The college admissions process can also be a wonderful opportunity to get to know your children in a deeper way—to understand their hopes, worries, values, dreams—and what will help them thrive in college. Below are concrete steps that we as parents can take to make the college admissions process meaningful and constructive for our children.

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For Families: 6 Tips for Reducing and Preventing Misogyny and Sexual Harassment Among Teens and Young Adults

Given the prevalence of sexually degrading and harassing behavior in young people’s lives, these conversations are critical, but it’s vital that parents go beyond platitudes like “be respectful.” Following are six tips for parents for engaging in meaningful, constructive conversations.

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For Families: Inspire Everyday Acts of Caring with Family Routines

Emerging research suggests that family routines support children’s social and emotional growth, the building blocks for strong "empathy muscles." Recently researchers evaluating more than 8,500 children found that kids in families that sing, tell stories, read, play, and eat dinner together are substantially more likely to have high social-emotional health.

If routines build empathy, then intentionally big-hearted routines prepare kids for a lifetime of generosity. Doing Good Together™ – a national nonprofit empowering families to raise caring kids – has compiled a few tips to add more compassion to your family routines.

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For Families: Circles of Concern: Transgender Students Discussion Guide

One of the most effective ways to build empathy for people outside your immediate circles is to learn about and interact with people who are different from you in race, class, culture, and who hold different religious or political beliefs. At Making Caring Common, we call this expanding your "circle of concern." This post in our "Circles of Concern" series is based on a story that caught our attention on Storycorps, and tells the story of Chris and Gabe López in Tucson, Arizona. Gabe, a transgender boy, recounts the story of coming out to his mother as transgender, his feeling of comfort in her acceptance, and the joy of finding new friends at summer camp. Listen to the audio story below, and access the full piece on the Storycorps website.

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