News Herald – Juliann Talkington
Parents and teenagers live in different worlds with different pressures and perspectives, so communication between adolescents and parents can be strained. Here are a few strategies you can use to minimize conflicts during this challenging time.
Humor is an effective communication tool, because it breaks down barriers and commands attention. Disguised as fun, humor can be used to teach, introduce new ideas, share beliefs, and implant knowledge.
Perspective and practice make a big difference. The way an adult perceives a problem is often very different from the way a teen views the same issue. What seems like a life catastrophe to 16-year-old may seem insignificant to a 40-year-old.
As a result, teenagers often have things to say to adults, but get frustrated because they do not feel like they can express their concerns and feelings. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher who was born in the 1st Century, might well have been instructing 21st Century parents when he said, “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Keep it short.
Teens are perceptive and smart, so a few words go a long way. No one wants to feel like they are being lectured, so it is best to say it once.
The way we speak can often result in the outcomes we are trying to avoid. Comments and instructions couched in negative language, with excessive use of words like “don’t”, “never”, and “no” may lead to poor behavior. Instead try to focus on the positive things your teen does.
Prepare and Allow.
It is easy to view your kids as younger than they are. As teens age, they need more responsibility. Adults who continually enforce rules that do not acknowledge demonstrated capacity for independent and responsible behavior, can alienate teens.
If it isn’t an immediate health or safety issue, it is sometimes better to wait for the right moment to discuss a problem rather than force a discussion at a poor time.
Your kids internalize and interpret everything you do. They read your face, posture, voice, and stance. They subconsciously search for physical cues to what you really feel about them. Make sure they know they are loved, respected, and appreciated.
Even though the transition from child to adult can be challenging, love and open communication can make the journey easier for everyone.
The Huffington Post – Laura Flores Shaw
“A recent article in the New York Times discussed why children should be given opportunities for movement during class. I wholeheartedly agree with this proposition – but not for the reasons stated. Movement is far more important than a means to enable children to attentively sit for long periods of time. Educators (and parents) need to understand that the need for movement goes beyond the value of aerobic exercise as cognitive and motor development are intertwined.”(more)
NPR – Anya Kamenetz
“Seventeen-year-old Indrani Das just won the top high school science prize in the country. Das, who lives in Oradell, N.J., took home $250,000 from the former Intel Science Talent Search, now the Regeneron Science Talent Search, for her study of brain injuries and neuron damage. In her spare time, she’s already working with patients as a certified EMT. As the Times of India pointed out, Das was one of five Indian Americans among the competition’s top ten finishers. In last year’s contest, according to one study, more than 80 percent of finalists were the children of immigrants. What is it that spurs so many recent arrivals to the United States to excel in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM disciplines? Some invoke cultural stereotypes, like that of the “Tiger Mother,” for an explanation.”(more)
Medical X-Press – Staff Writer
“A study led by a Massachusetts General Hospital pediatrician finds that children ages 3 to 7 who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have problems with attention, emotional control and peer relationships in mid-childhood. Reported online in the journal Academic Pediatrics, the study found significant differences in the responses of parents and teachers to surveys regarding executive function – which includes attention, working memory, reasoning and problem solving—and behavioral problems in 7-year-old children depending on how much sleep they regularly received at younger ages.”(more)
Quartz – Jenny Anderson
“Math is a notoriously hard subject for many kids and adults. There is a gender gap, a race gap, and just generally bad performance in many countries. John Mighton, a Canadian playwright, author, and math tutor who struggled with math himself, has designed a teaching program that has some of the worst-performing math students performing well and actually enjoying math. There’s mounting evidence that the method works for all kids of all abilities. His program, JUMP (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies) Math, is being used by 15,000 kids in eight US states (it is aligned with the Common Core), more than 150,000 in Canada, and about 12,000 in Spain. The US Department of Education found it promising enough to give a $2.75 million grant in 2012 to Tracy Solomon and Rosemary Tannock, cognitive scientists at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto, to conduct a randomized control trial with 1,100 kids and 40 classrooms.”(more)
E-School News – Malinda Mikesell
“No matter what subject or topic an educator is teaching, sometimes the best way we can approach an instructional challenge is by taking a step back to look at the big picture of learning. In order to learn skills such as sentence fluency or multiplication, students need to develop the brain functions that will first enable them to focus on tasks and retain information. For the past several years my district has emphasized the importance of helping students improve a set of thinking skills known as executive function skills. These functions are a set of cognitive processes, such as focus, memory and self-control, which enable us to manage information and complete tasks.”(more)