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The Key To Raising A Happy Child

NPR – Cory Turner

“For much of the past half-century, children, adolescents and young adults in the U.S. have been saying they feel as though their lives are increasingly out of their control. At the same time, rates of anxiety and depression have risen steadily. What’s the fix? Feeling in control of your own destiny. Let’s call it “agency.” “Agency may be the one most important factor in human happiness and well-being.” So write William Stixrud and Ned Johnson in their new book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. Feeling out of control can cause debilitating stress and destroy self-motivation.” (more)

Japanese Study: Engaged Parents Raise Happy, Affluent Kids

Education News – Grace Smith

“A new study from Japan has found that children who get authentic engagement from their parents have increased levels of happiness, higher incomes, higher grades, and a stronger moral compass. Katrina Pascual, writing for Tech Times, reports that research team leaders Nishimura Kazuo of Kobe University and Yagi Tadashi of Doshisha University Faculty of Economics examined the consequences of current Japanese parenting practices. They questioned 5,000 women and men about their parental relationships during their childhoods…The key factors the researchers focused on were parents’ lack of interest, rules, independence, trust, time spent between parents and children and disciplinary incidents. Using their survey findings, the group of scientists divided parenting techniques into six categories. They were: Supportive, Harsh, Strict, Average, Indulgent, and Easygoing. The researchers found that kids who were brought up by “supportive” parents had high salary rates, better academic accomplishments, and increased happiness levels. Strict parents were more likely to have children who made high salaries and did well academically, but had reduced happiness levels and increased levels of stress.”(more)

Creating Outlets for Humanity: A Vision for Education

The Huffington Post – Gerard Senehi

“…These, and many other examples, confirm the incredible power of creating outlets where students can openly explore different facets of themselves that are often locked inside. These outlets have the potential not just to bring joy and happiness to students, but also to resolve behavioral issues or insecurities in unexpected ways…The broadest way I think of the role of education is to create outlets for students’ humanity. This is not to say that preparing students for college, preparing them for careers, and promoting 21st century skills are not important. Indeed these are essential aspects of student’s education. As are the arts, music, and sports. Yet locked within each student is a world of hopes, fears, confusion, care and idealism. Making room for this inner world can unlock its potential and empower students with courage to take their lives in their own hands, and find the best within themselves and offer it to the world.”(more)

The impact of the outdoors on kids’ mental health: A Scraped-Up interview

The Scraped-Up Kid – Cherie Galyean

“Richard Louv, the author of The Last Child in the Woods, does a fantastic job outlining the issues with the disconnect that children are having with nature. He coined the phrase “nature-deficit disorder” to explain the developmental effects that this has on children. There are so many benefits that come from kids being outside…We have gone to such an extreme edge of making places safe for our kids that they aren’t developing the internal systems that their bodies need. This is why we see so many sensory, balance and attention issues in our kids…Children need to see and experience a world in which they can still feel its beauty and magic. They need to be able to plant their feet on the ground and feel rooted to their surroundings. Kids should have moments in which they are awed by the majesty of nature. They need to climb, fall down and hear their laughter echoing on the wind. If we provide them with those opportunities they will be ultimately be healthier and happier.”(more)

It’s true: happier students get higher grades

The Conversation – Lauren Schiller & Christina Hinton

“What leads to success in school?…Researchers at Research Schools International…explored the relationship between happiness and student achievement. Are happy students more successful in school?…Our results revealed that, on average, students who reported being happier had higher grades…Our next question was, what supports students to be happy? We found that a network of supportive relationships is at the heart of happiness. Results showed that the quality of students’ relationships with teachers and peers predicted their happiness.”(more)