The brain science behind Britain’s new parenting classes

The Washington Post – Danielle Paquette

“British Prime Minister David Cameron thinks parents need government-approved advice on raising kids. British parents aren’t exactly thrilled with this recent proclamation. One of Cameron’s new policy prescriptions, unveiled Monday with an announcement that England will pour £70 million over the next five years into “relationship support,” was state-backed parenting classes. Vouchers, he said, would help cover the enrollment of low-income families. Behind the controversial new family agenda was a deceptively simple lesson from neuroscience…Scientists say our IQ, attention span, memory and impulse control, among a raft of other mental traits, are largely determined before age 3. So, Cameron said, new parents could use extra guidance on how to prime kids for success in the classroom and beyond.”(more)

Why children need to play with their parents

Consumer Affairs – Sarah D. Young

“We all know children need to play, and we all know children need their parents. But in the Venn Diagram of those two facts, the intersection is important. According to research, children need to play with their parents in order to gain certain social skills that will benefit them in the future. Playing specifically with a parent — as opposed to siblings or with friends on the playground — is crucial to helping build a child’s confidence. Parents can offer a child more mature, varied types of play, building competence that can then be carried over to other social situations. Parent-child pretend and physical play, according to Psychology Today, is linked with the child’s competence, gross motor skills, peer group leadership and cognitive development.”(more)

Overly critical parenting linked with persistent ADHD in kids

The Washington Post – Ariana Eunjung Cha

“While scientists still haven’t determined the cause of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and believe it is a mix of genetic and environmental factors, there’s a new theory about why the symptoms seem to go away in some kids but not in others. It has to do with Mom and Dad…Over three years, the researchers measured how those children’s ADHD symptoms changed and how this was related to their parents’ levels of criticism and emotional involvement…The analysis of the data…showed that parental emotional overinvolvement did not seem to impact whether a child continued to have ADHD symptoms into the teenage years. On the other hand, sustained critical parenting — which was defined as high levels of harsh, negative statements about the child at both measurements — appeared to be associated with the the continuance of ADHD symptoms.”(more)

How Can I Help My Kid Build Credit Quickly?

Time – Gerry Detweiler

“If your daughter has taken out student loans for her education, then she may already have a credit report and credit score, created when her first loan was reported to the credit reporting agencies. It is worth checking. Suggest she visit AnnualCreditReport.com and try to get her credit report from one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion). But whether or not she has a credit report, she will likely need more than just student loans to earn a high credit score. It will be helpful to have at least one revolving account, such as a credit card, on her reports. Here are several ways to get one.”(more)

How An Elimination Diet May Improve Your Child’s Health

CBS Miami – Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD

“Many children in my practice improve tremendously from any number of conditions—asthma, eczema, constipation, headaches, ADHD, seizures—when we remove foods that bother their bodies. Unfortunately, traditional allergy tests don’t always tell the whole story of food reactivity. The best way to determine whether a food contributes to your child’s symptoms—whether allergy, sensitivity, or otherwise—is to eliminate it from his or her diet for a month and then reintroduce it to see if the worrisome symptoms recur.”(more)

Legislative Analyst endorses parental choice program

Ed Source – John Fensterwald

“In most places in California, students must attend a school in the district where they live, or a charter school anywhere if they find one they like. But 47 districts have opened their doors to students outside their borders, under a little–used program set to expire next year. The Legislative Analyst’s Office, after concluding that the District of Choice program is working as intended, recommended in a report last month that the Legislature extend it for at least five years beyond its June 2017 sunset date. The analyst’s office said the program is providing students with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have, while encouraging students’ former districts to compete to retain them by providing magnet programs and courses that parents want.”(more)