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Mindfulness helps children as young as 3 manage their emotions during school

Medical X-Press – Ashley Jupin

“Mindfulness, a practice that’s growing in popularity, is widely praised as an antidote for the stresses of everyday life and a resource that can help many—from anxious dieters and harried employees to recovering addicts and hospital patients—decompress. Now mindfulness has found its way into a classroom in Watts, where children as young as 3 are using it to manage their emotions and stay calm. Using a strategy called Calm Classroom, students, ranging from transitional kindergartners to fifth graders at the Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School, are being guided by teachers three times during the school day through three-minute mindfulness exercises that call on students to refocus their attention on deep breathing, relaxation and body awareness.”(more)

What to say (or not to say) to your overweight child

The Daily Herald – Carrie Dennett

“As a parent, you care about your child’s health. Given the public-health focus on childhood obesity, it would be hard to not be concerned if your child is overweight. The question many parents in this position are grappling with is “Should I say something to my child about the weight — or not?” Research suggests you shouldn’t, because making comments to a child about weight — whether those comments come as teasing, criticism or “helpful” advice — can be counterproductive. Rather than leading to healthful behavioral changes,weight-related comments from family members have been shown to contribute to negative body image and eating disorders. This can lead to weight gain, obesity and eating disorders in adolescence and into adulthood, which is exactly what parents don’t want to see happen.”(more)

Children’s literacy linked to healthy eating

Nursery World – Kathryn Ingham

“The research published in the European Journal of Nutrition, followed 161 children in Finland aged between six and eight. The quality of their diet was analysed using food diaries and evaluated according to Finnish nutritional recommendations. The closer a child’s eating habits were to the Baltic Sea Diet – high in fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, fish and low fat milk, and low in sugar, saturated fats and red meat – the healthier it was considered. The study shows that children with higher quality diets perform better in standardised tests measuring reading, fluency and comprehension, when compared to children whose diets are low in nutritional value.”(more)

How kids can benefit from boredom

Medical X-Press – Teresa Belton

“From books, arts and sports classes to iPads and television, many parents do everything in their power to entertain and educate their children. But what would happen if children were just left to be bored from time to time? How would it affect their development? I began to think about boredom and children when I was researching the influence of television on children’s storytelling in the 1990s. Surprised at the lack of imagination in many of the hundreds of stories I read by ten to 12 year-old children in five different Norfolk schools, I wondered if this might partly be an effect of TV viewing. Findings of earlier research had revealed that television does indeed reduce children’s imaginative capacities.”(more)

International Literacy Day: Get Kids Reading with 4 Big Ideas from 4 Countries

The PR News Wire – Staff Writer

“Tomorrow is International Literacy Day (September 8) and in celebration, Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, is providing universal tips that can help children everywhere become lifelong readers. Compiled from data gathered for the Kids & Family Reading Report™ U.S., U.K., Australia and India editions, the survey of both children and their parents revealed four key, actionable themes: “the power of choice,” “reading aloud,” “parent reading role modeling” and the “desire for books that make kids laugh.” The call to action is in response to data in each country’s Kids & Family Reading Report, which indicates that on average only one in three kids read books for fun 5-7 days a week. To help more kids discover the power and joy of reading, parents and caregivers can:.”(more)

Early math instruction: A predictor for academic success

Education Dive – Staff Writer

“Want your early learners to have long-term reading success? Teach them math. Recent research links high-quality math instruction at the earliest grade levels to improved academic success through high school—and not just in math‑related subjects. Effective early math instruction also leads to later success in reading skills and oral language abilities like: vocabulary, inference, independence and grammatical complexity. In fact, pre-K math scores are a better indicator of later reading success than pre-K reading scores, according to research by Dr. Douglas Clements, Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning.”(more)