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Parent Engagement in the Digital Age

Edutopia – Emelina Minero

“In school districts around the country, handwritten notes, calls home, and face-to-face meetings are rapidly ceding ground to new technologies that better meet the needs of parents and schools. According to a 2016 report, there’s been a steep drop in the number of parents who believe that more intimate forms of communication—face-to-face meetings with teachers, for example—are the most effective means to convey important information about students. The same study found a growing acceptance of digital methods.”(more)

Text, tweet, email, call—what do parents want in school communications?

E-School News – Meris Stansbury

“When it comes to school communications, parents today want more information from their children’s teachers and schools, but they also want that information to be timely, targeted, and personalized to their children or their interest areas. The latest data from Speak Up Research Project gives insights on school-to-home communications. In “Text, Twitter, Email, Call—What Do Parents Say About School Communications?” Dr. Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow, shared these insights from parents, educators, and administrators, and discussed takeaways from the research.”(more)

5 ways to enrich communication at the start of the school year-and why it’s essential

E-School News – Camille Cavazos

“Good communication is essential in any relationship, whether it is employer to employee, spouse to spouse, or teacher to student (or student’s parents). In my time as an educator, I’ve seen what a difference good communication can make. When communication channels are open between parents, students, and teachers, students have increased motivation for learning, improved behavior, more regular attendance, and a more positive attitude about school.”(more)

Building social communication skills in shy children helps with peer likeability

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A new study by Yale-NUS College Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (Psychology) Cheung Hoi Shan has discovered that shy children with low English vocabulary skills, can still be popular among their peers if they have high-functioning social communication skills that enable them to engage and interact well with their peers in social settings. Dr Cheung conducted the study involving 164 preschoolers between 52 and 79 months old in Singapore. She co-authored the paper with Associate Professor John Elliott from the Department of Psychology under the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The paper was recently published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology.”(more)

Love and communication important during teen years

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

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.

Use humor.
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.

Listen.
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.

Compliment.
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.

Wait.
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.

Connect.
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.

Communicating in a foreign language takes emotion out of decision-making

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“If you could save the lives of five people by pushing another bystander in front of a train to his death, would you do it? And should it make any difference if that choice is presented in a language you speak, but isn’t your native tongue? Psychologists know communicating in a foreign language matters. In a new study, they take a major step toward understanding why.”(more)