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About us

Our mission is to help create the safe, nurturing, enriching, and joyful spaces that empower kids to thrive in today’s global, digital, mindful world!

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About the founder

Hi! I’m Dr. Mieke. If you’re wondering how to pronounce my name I already know two things about you. 1) You don’t speak Dutch (it’s okay, neither do I!) and 2) You’re not alone (none of us are, really). In any case, my American pronunciation of my Dutch name sounds like this: Meeka.

Now that we’ve properly met – Welcome, I’m glad you’re here.

Education and expertise

I was still practically a kid myself when I set my sights on exploring the nitty gritty of what makes the childhood years so special.

Childhood: Full of magic, unbridled joy, potential, and possibilities.


I set out to learn all I could about kids. How do they see the world? What’s going on in those little heads? How do their experiences and relationships in childhood form who they are and who they become?

I voraciously worked my way through the theories on child development and conducted studies to answer some of my most pressing questions. While pursuing answers, I earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology from University of California, San Diego, and a doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology from the University of Virginia.

20+ years working with families and kids

In graduate school and beyond, I discovered a passion for learning about how new technologies, new knowledge, and new perspectives were changing kids’ learning and development.

I have

  • Studied how babies learn best and how to integrate media into classrooms to improve preschool learning.
  • Written guides for parenting best practices and for using media thoughtfully with young kids.
  • Tested and reviewed hundreds of educational technology products like apps, websites, podcasts, and short-form videos.
  • Created and delivered presentations for kids, parents, and teachers on digital wellness and general parenting practices.
  • Guided parents through one-on-one parent coaching and parenting articles.


In other words, for more than 20 years, I’ve been knee-deep in supporting kids and those who raise them, educate them, and care for them.


To make matters more confusing, did I mention that my parenting journey has also involved raising kids in a country other than the one where I was raised, and in a language that isn’t my own? As an American woman with a Dutch name who attended a Japanese bilingual-bicultural school and grew up in one of the most multicultural cities in the world raising kids in Europe with an Italian husband, we are a mixed up melting pot indeed!


When I became a parent myself, suddenly I was less and less confident about what I was doing – just when everything felt more important than ever.

I believed the theories about all the scientifically supported “best” ways to interact with kids. The problem was, I guess my kids didn’t always get the memo. They were just too busy being them – their own unique people with their own special blend of what makes them who they are. It took me a while to realize that those theories don’t always translate easily into practice.


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That said, navigating parenting has taught me a thing or two about the need to find a comfortable balance between being flexible while holding on to what anchors me. There have been lots of times (more than I care to admit!) when I’ve just wanted to scream! But this mish mash of languages, cultures, expectations, and experiences has also created so many opportunities for growth – and lots and lots of laughter.

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So what have I learned? Parenting and supporting kids requires a solid foundation and also constant recalibration. Even more so when you’re navigating differing cultural assumptions and new realities about how kids engage in society. I still believe the theories as a great starting point. However, I have also learned to welcome reality – to embrace how important it is to thoughtfully adapt theories and ideals in ways that fit and feel right. In other words, to be mindful about what I’m doing and why.

Professional Experience

Not interested in the personal stuff? Here’s the part that looks good on a resume.

As an international parenting and child development expert with a Ph.D. in developmental psychology and over 20 years experience working with kids, families, and organizations, I am working to build a global village where anyone who supports kids can find guidance. I coach, consult, and advise those raising or educating kids as well as those creating the best possible tools and settings for their safe, healthy, and optimal development.

My early research focused particularly on the role of media and technology in kids’ lives for which I co-write multi-million dollar grant proposals for the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, and published articles in top academic journals. Through over a decade of collaboration with Common Sense Media, I helped develop an innovative digital citizenship curriculum and reviewed over 600 apps, websites, movies, podcasts, and streaming video content. I’ve taught students of all ages, from preschool through university, in both formal and informal learning environments.


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And I continue to provide expert guidance and training to hundreds of parents, teachers, kids, companies, schools, and organizations across the world through writing, personalized parent coaching sessions, workshops, presentations, and consultation services. I also have specialized expertise and experience in global, cross cultural parenting.

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