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Stop telling kids you’re bad at math. You are spreading math anxiety ‘like a virus.’

The Washington Post – Valerie Strauss

“Why do smart people enjoy saying that they are bad at math? Few people would consider proudly announcing that they are bad at writing or reading. Our country’s communal math hatred may seem rather innocuous, but a more critical factor is at stake: we are passing on from generation to generation the phobia for mathematics and with that are priming our children for mathematical anxiety. As a result, too many of us have lost the ability to examine a real-world problem, translate it into numbers, solve the problem and interpret the solution.”(more)

Percentage of US children who have chronic health conditions on the rise

Eureka Alert – Staff Writer

“The percentage of children with chronic health conditions is on the rise, and new research being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting shows this is especially true among children who live in or near poverty. Researchers presenting the study abstract, “National Trends in Prevalence and Co-morbid Chronic Conditions among Children with Asthma, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” looked at data from the National Survey of Children’s Health data for 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2012 to spot trends surrounding these conditions by sociodemographic characteristics in the United States.”(more)

5 Heartbreaking Consequences When You Don’t Read to Your Baby

The Parent Herald – Staff Writer

“Should you read to your baby? Many mommies are wondering whether now is the time to start introducing their completely clueless babies to the world of books. Experts have said that it is never too early to start reading to your baby, as doing so, will give him benefits that will last him a lifetime. It is also in the same vein that your baby will be missing out a lot on these benefits when you don’t make reading a part of your baby’s daily routine. Here are five things your baby will miss.”(more)

Between the ears: How music skills may help babies learn language

The Seattle Times – John Higgins

“Music educators cheered after the long-overdue rewrite of the federal education law, which passed last year, specified that music and art are part of a “well-rounded education” – not luxuries to be ditched whenever budgets get tight. While music has value all by itself, researchers have long noticed that musicians also tend to be better at learning languages and show other enhanced reading and math abilities. Much of that research hasn’t determined whether learning to play an instrument should get the credit or if something else explains the association of music instruction and other skills.”(more)

When Kids are Bullied, What Can Parents Do?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Linda Flanagan

“It’s no mystery that being bullied hurts. Whatever form the abuse takes—whether it’s being tripped, teased, excluded, mocked, insulted, gossiped about, or ridiculed, in-person or via social media—the target suffers. Beyond the short-term pain, such mistreatment can have lasting mental and physical health effects as well, reports the American Academy of Pediatrics. Parents also struggle. Though desperate to help their ailing child, parents can’t lurk in hallways and lunchrooms waiting to protect their off-spring from social harm.”(more)

Infants Learn to Pay Attention (or Not) From Watching Mom and Dad

Smithsonian.com – Brian Handwerk

“Your infant child is watching what grabs your attention—so perhaps it’s time to put down that phone and focus on the toy of your baby’s choice. Doing so may boost the kid’s brain development, and chances of future success, by teaching him or her how to keep their own attention focused on the task at hand, a new study shows. Infants pay more attention to objects while playing when their caregivers do the same, but their eyes wander when a parent’s own gaze is distracted. The findings, published today in Current Biology, suggest that caregiver attention can aid in the development of sustained attention span in very young kids…Studies in kids from age 1 through grade school have shown that greater attention spans, even at a very young age, are a good predictor of future achievement. Focused attention also helps key cognitive achievements such as problem solving and language acquisition.”(more)