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.
Parents tend to worry about exactly how much screen time is appropriate for kids. The guidelines can be confusing -- and there's no magic number that's right for all families. The truth is what kids are watching and how they're watching are key parts of the equation.
As 2018 kicks off, we see the importance of working together now more than ever. Not surprisingly, this has been a major topic in the educational world as well. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is on a mission to promote Social and Emotional learning
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.
These tips from Janine Francolini, Founder of the Flawless Foundation, are a good reminder of ways we can talk to our children about stressful things going on in the news cycle.
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.
What makes school mornings so hard? “They’re kind of like a perfect storm,” says David Anderson, PhD, senior director of the ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute.
“You have a number of things that have to get done,” he explains, “and there’s also a time limit.” Add to this the fact that parents sometimes feel their kids don’t appreciate the ticking clock while they’re trying to get everyone to school and work and you’ve got a pressure cooker that can, at its worst, lead to yelling, tears, and forgotten lunches.
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.
Katherine Reynolds Lewis looks at how negative consequences, timeouts, and punishment just make bad behavior worse. But a new approach really works. Check out the article here.
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.