This article from the Child Mind Institute is timely as we all adjust to the rigors of the new school year. Beth Arky writes about how to get your kids up and out the door with the least amount of conflict.
Kids become lifelong readers for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes there's one key book that captures a kid's imagination and opens him or her up to the exciting world of fiction. Other times, a teacher who assigns great books in class sparks a hunger for more big ideas and fine writing. In some cases, parents influence kids' appreciation of books by sharing their own love of literature and modeling reader behavior -- always having a book to read, taking books on vacation, reading before bedtime, making regular trips to the library and bookstore, etc.
If your kid's online, there have probably been times when you've wanted to track everything they've texted, see their entire social media history, or just shut off the internet entirely. Those are the times you wish for the perfect parental controls -- something that will grant you all the access and authority you want without making a bad situation worse. The truth is, while clicking a few buttons on a hardware device or downloading a monitoring service seem like no-brainers, the most effective parental control is free and knows your kid very well.
Babies and toddlers find everything fascinating: It's often enough just to play with sand, stack blocks, and even just stare at their hands. Parents can build on this natural inclination in lots of ways. First, you can share their wonder at the world. If your kid is amazed by a spider web or delighted by the garbage truck, let yourself mirror that enthusiasm and build on it by asking questions and noticing things: "The truck's wheels are circles. What other shapes do I see?" or "I wonder what kind of spider made this web."
As a parent, our words become the internal language in the minds of our children. With healthy self-esteem, your child will flourish. In an era where kindergarten is the new first grade, children are being pushed to develop academic skills from an early age. Yet all the intellectual skills in the world are of little value without the confidence to put them to use. This is why, as a parent, we should prioritize building healthy self-esteem and confidence first and foremost.
A new study was recently published that broadens our understanding of how emotions relate to academic achievement. It’s old news that emotions play a role in students’ achievement and school functioning, but this study uses a different lens by looking specifically at emotional regulation rather than simply positive or negative feelings in students.
Two articles you may have missed in The New York Times reiterate some important points about how to help children with two very different but very common difficulties – anxiety and disruptive behavior.
This great summary article is sourced from the Yellin Center for Mind, Brain and Education.
ddly, most of our understanding of sleep comes not from knowing what happens when we sleep but from noticing what happens when we don’t. Sleep is a powerful restorative process. It helps us function better physically, emotionally, and metabolically. It helps us consolidate and form our memories, and has a direct effect on our attention and behavior.
Our bodies and brains are wired to react to high stress situations as a safety net. If our brain perceives a threat, it signals the amygdala, body’s “alarm” system, which tells our body to act without thinking. The amygdala responds to situations with the fight, flight, freeze response. This is to protect us, but our stress receptors cannot distinguish between real dangers or false dangers. In everyday parenting, our stress response often gets triggered unnecessarily by events that are not actually life threatening. Our bodies are reacting to our kid spilling cereal all over the floor in the same way we would react if we were being chased by a bear.
"All kids can be affected by sensory processing issues. Certain situations just make them freak. So it makes sense that exposing kids to a variety of sensory activities in a calm, playful manner can alleviate some of these problems." There are some great ideas in this article!
In a world consumed by technology and the pressure to boost children’s academic standings, perhaps it’s time for American parents to ask the questions posed by Linda Åkeson McGurk, a Swedish-American journalist...
Children need sleep, plain and simple. We all do. Without enough sleep, we get cranky and, with time, unhealthy. But for children, it’s especially important because the effects of sleep deprivation can lead to lifelong problems.
Nothing is more important to parents than to have a good relationship with the teachers of their children at the start of another school year.Teachers also realize that involving parents in teaching children has a big payoff. They are encouraged to meet parents early and to contact one another the minute they see the need.
In recent years, school curricula in the United States have shifted heavily toward common core subjects of reading and math, but what about the arts? Although some may regard art education as a luxury, simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. Learning to create and appreciate visual aesthetics may be more important than ever to the development of the next generation of children as they grow up.
There are many reasons to encourage optimism in our children, including long-lasting positive affects on their mental and physical well-being. (Did you know optimists are much more likely to live past 100?) But how do you go about raising an optimist? Put these six tips into practice, for starters, and watch the positive benefits extend to the rest of your household.
You want your child to be curious, right? Of course you do! After all, curiosity is the drive to gather new information and experiences and it’s at the very heart of learning. Studies show that kids who exhibit a higher level of curiosity are at an advantage at school and beyond, benefitting socially, emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually.
Take back family time and set an example for your kids by creating tech-free zones in the most important areas of your life.
You're sitting down to dinner and -- buzz, buzz! -- your phone starts vibrating. You're driving your kid to practice and -- beep, beep! -- a call comes in. You're tucking your kid into bed and -- squawk, squawk! -- an app begs to be played. It never fails: Technology interrupts our most treasured family moments.
The importance of play to young children's healthy development and learning has been documented beyond question by research. Yet play is rapidly disappearing from kindergarten and early education as a whole. We believe that the stifling of play has dire consequences-not only for children but for the future of our nation. This report is meant to bring broad public attention to the crisis in our kindergartens and to spur collective action to reverse the damage now being done.