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Tweens with Chris Balme


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“How will you know when you’re done?”

This is episode 82 and today I’m here with Chris Balme talking about tweens. 


Chris Balme is an education leader and writer, passionate about helping young people discover more of their human potential. As Co-Founder and Head of School at Millennium School, a lab school in San Francisco, Chris helped pioneer new learning methods for middle schoolers, based in developmental science. Chris then founded Argonaut, an online program to bring social-emotional learning to more students. He now serves as the Founding Principal of Hakuba International School in Japan, developing learning approaches that foster human and environmental well-being. 

Chris received the Ashoka Fellowship as a leading global changemaker in education, and regularly speaks, trains, and writes for parents and teachers around the world. He’s the author of the book Finding the Magic in Middle School, published in August 2022. More about Chris at


Misunderstanding: We discuss what mainstream culture misunderstands about tweens.

Development: We walk through what’s going on developmentally in this season.

Learning: We explain how teens learn best.

Support: We share how we can best support their development.

Relationship: We speak to how the parent-child relationship shifts.

Middle School: He paints a picture for us of an ideal middle school.

Challenges: We discuss some common challenges in this season of development and how we can shift to better meet them.

Help with Tweens

Chris talks a lot about how the season of parenting tweens and teens is an invitation to our own transformation. “Someone who is transforming is like a person on fire. If you spend enough time with them, you’ll start to catch fire too.” If you feel that heat, I want to invite you to join us in the Sage Family Village, where we explore these invitations in brave, creative, and supportive community together right here.

Dive Deeper

Disclosure: When I recommend a product that I believe will add value for you, it may contain an affiliate link, and when you click the link to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Finding the Magic in Middle School

50 Essential Experiences for Adolescents

@chrisbalme on IG

Chris’s website

Chris’s newsletter

Sage Family Podcast 48: Teens with Blake Boles

Sage Family Village

Not Back to School Camp

Sage Family Podcast 53: Self-Driven Child with Dr. Bill Stirred and Ned Johnson

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I work from an island in the Pacific Northwest, where I live wild and free in connection with my hilarious husband and three growing sailors in our fixer upper on the beach. I authentically live this healing work out loud raising my own neurodivergent family (inner child included) and draw on my decades of education and experience (I've done all the nerdy work so you don't have to) to guide a revolution of overwhelmed parents just like you to feeling at peace within yourself, consciously connected with your children, embraced by a supportive community, and enjoying a values-aligned life you love.

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