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Students more likely to succeed if teachers have positive perceptions of parents

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Parental involvement is commonly viewed as vital to student academic success by most education experts and researchers; however, the quality of research on how to measure and improve parental involvement is lacking. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that teacher ratings of parental involvement early in a child’s academic career can accurately predict the child’s academic and social success. Additionally, they found that a teacher training program can help improve the quantity and quality of teacher-parent interactions. Keith Herman, a professor in the MU College of Education and co-director of the Missouri Prevention Center, says these findings show the importance of teacher-parent connections and also the need for training teachers on how to create effective relationships with all parents.”(more)

Family ties: how to get parents involved in children’s learning

The Guardian – Lilufa Uddin

“Teachers are always looking for ways to improve education for their pupils – and one of the fundamental ways of doing this is parental engagement. Learning shouldn’t finish when the child leaves school at the end of the day, and with parents on board it is much easier to help students reach their potential. Of course, it won’t always be easy to engage parents: they may be very busy, or have a first language other than English. So what advice is out there for building better partnerships?.”(more)

Parents struggle to keep the junk food out of little mouths

USA Today – Jueun Choi

“The survey results are positive in the sense that most parents recognize that healthy eating is the goal, Clark said. But there’s a problem if one in four parents in the country acknowledge that their kids’ diet is not the ideal, she said. Parents face several day-to-day challenges, but the main problem (70%) behind an unhealthy diet is the high cost of healthy food. The next reason (60%) is children’s preference for sugary and fatty food. Parents with a low-income level and low education have a hard time determining which foods are healthy (52%), or those food are unavailable where they shop (23%). Research shows that frequent consumption of fast food leads to heart disease, obesity, headaches, acne, high blood pressure, dental problems and high cholesterol. Diet also affects mental health.”(more)

What’s your parenting style?

Michigan State University – Staff Writer

“Parenting styles are typically handed down from generation to generation. Unless you try really hard, you will probably parent a lot like your own parents did. Circumstances change and parenting methods must evolve to adapt to changing times. Experts in the field have determined four parenting styles that most adults fall into: permissive, authoritarian, authoritative and overprotective. Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each can help determine the kind of parents we really want to be and guide us in making better parenting decisions.”(more)

Teach kids heart-healthy habits for lifelong health

The Apopka Voice – Reggie Connell

“Kids have amazing resiliency. And while it may seem like childhood naturally brings with it an endless stream of junk food and video games, science is showing us the importance of early cardiac health as the heart may not be as forgiving. “In pediatric cardiology, much of the focus is on congenital heart disease, but the fact is that your child is much more likely to die of acquired heart disease in their lifetime” states Dr. Matthew Zussman, Medical Director of Pediatric Interventional Cardiology at the Florida Hospital for Children. Dr. Zussman further explains why conversations about heart health must start young.”(more)

Statistical approach suggests toddlers’ grammar skills are learned, not innate

Medical X-Press – Alex Shashkevich

“Children’s ability to understand basic grammar early in language development has long puzzled scientists, creating a debate over whether that skill is innate or learned with time and practice. A new Stanford study, recently published in Psychological Science, helps build evidence for the latter. Analyzing toddlers’ early language with a novel statistical approach, associate professor of psychology Michael Frank found that rule-based grammatical knowledge emerges gradually with a significant increase around the age of 24 months. The new study, titled “The Emergence of an Abstract Grammatical Category in Children’s Early Speech,” also points out the need to gather more data that track children’s speech over time, which would help make future research more precise.”(more)