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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Preparing kids for the real world

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


We all want our kids to be happy, thriving, independent adults. The challenge is how to get them from the highly needy infant stage to the point where they can successfully handle life on their own. There is a lot to teach and the world is changing rapidly, so it is important to start the process when children are young.


Fortunately, there are a few simple things parents can do to make the process easier.


Teach the basics.
Diet is important for overall health and wellbeing. Everyone needs to know how to prepare healthy meals and to understand the role exercise plays in quality of life. In addition, young people need to understand the basics of household finance – specifically that income needs to be more than expenses. And everyone needs to have some way to get from place to place, so it is important for kids to learn how to drive.


Step back.
Children need to do things on their own so they can become independent and self reliant, characteristics needed for adulthood. When parents do things that kids can manage themselves, it can foster low self-esteem and lead to poor decisions.


Allow choice.
It is better for a child to make “wrong choices” early in life when the stakes are low rather than to wait until he/she is older and the stakes can be life altering. Offering simple options when a child is very young, prepares him/her for the more complicated decisions he/she will have to make when he/she is older.


Let go.
When your child makes a poor decision it is important for you to allow him/her to deal with the consequences. This way he/she understands that there are negative consequences from making poor choices. Remember, the lessons that stick with us are the ones where we have to deal with the fallout from bad choices.


Encourage problem solving.
There are few textbook solutions in life. Without practice, children become overwhelmed when they are presented with problems they have not encountered before. As a result, it is imperative for children to learn how to think through a problem, come up with possible solutions, and move forward with the best approach. Parents can help children through the process by asking questions, but should resist the urge to provide answers.


If parents take these simple steps and gradually prepare their kids for adulthood, the transition from home to the “real world” should be fairly seamless.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Understanding and responding to the increase in teen depression

The Deseret News – Emily Hales

“Teen depression is becoming a prevalent issue within the nation and it’s never been more important to understand it.” (more)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Teacher’s Tips for Parents

The Huffington Post – Susan B. Katz

“Summer is well underway and parents often grapple with the same behavioral challenges that teachers face in the classroom. Rarely, however, is there an exchange of effective strategies for dealing with kid chaos. Below are seven teacher tips for parents that I used in my classwomb throughout my over 20 years as a bilingual elementary educator and literacy coach.” (more)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

For Most Kids, Nice Finishes Last

NPR – Tovia Smith

“Character education is something of a trend in schools these days. Central Queens Academy, a public middle school in New York City, focuses on character and community. Kids there are rewarded for things like kindness and being a team player, not just for getting straight A’s. But when students took part in the kindness survey, their answers were no different from anyone else’s.” (more)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Metro Schools Rethinking Recess Time

NewsChannel5 – Adam Ghassemi

“…recess lets kids learn communication, interaction and cooperation skills without realizing there’s a lesson…That means getting regular, unregulated time outside could make kids stronger not only in the classroom, but also when they become adults.” (more)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bilingualists have the better brain

I-Africa – Staff Writer

“The research aimed to answer the question as to whether the most intelligent people are likely to learn a new language, or whether learning a new language increases cognitive ability. The results proved the latter is true.” (more)

Monday, June 30, 2014

The not-so-surprising secret to happy children: parents who smile

Quartz – Olga Khazan

“Garner knows that if the mom gets angry about the child’s normal behavior, she might develop a negative attitude toward parenting. And that could be poisonous in a very real way. Pediatricians are growing increasingly alarmed about the dangers of so-called “toxic stress”—certain kinds of childhood experiences, like turmoil, violence, and neglect, that, when chronic, can alter brain structure and chemistry and hurt a child’s chances of long-term success. Harsh parenting by itself won’t necessarily doom a child, but when combined with other stressors, it might.” (more)

Monday, June 23, 2014

What can be learned from one family’s battle with a school bully

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Alan J. Borsuk

“The victim has been seriously harmed — he has showed fear, low self-esteem and even suicidal thoughts. What he does in class as well as on the playground and at lunch has suffered. He has been in counseling. That said, the mother says he has rebounded a fair amount and is doing fairly well these days.” (more)

Your child is a natural-born liar — and that isn’t so bad

The Columbia Tribune – MELINDA WENNER MOYER

“When you do catch your kid in a lie, what should you do? First, because lies often go hand-in-hand with misdeeds, you need to separate the two in your mind. Address the fact that your kid broke the TV, and address the fact that she lied about it — but don’t conflate the two because they’re different.” (more)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Don’t blame poor children for their poor education – give them good schools

The Guardian – Deborah Orr

“A new report says white working-class children are failing at school, and suggests their attitudes and lack of aspiration are the cause. This sounds like victim blaming to me.” (more)