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Shedding light on children’s physical activity

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A new study highlights some of the barriers children face in being more physically active in their local neighbourhoods. Walking, scooting and riding to and from school helps children get the physical activity they need each day to be healthy and can kick-start healthy habits to set them up for a lifetime of good health. However, new research by Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), in partnership with VicHealth, has found that how often a child independently travelled to and from school was affected by how much they enjoyed it, parental safety concerns and proximity to walking tracks.”(more)

Children and adolescents more severely affected by time change

Medical X-Press – Johannes Angerer

“At 2 o’clock in the morning this coming Sunday the clocks will go forward to 3 o’clock – from winter time to summer time. We will therefore “lose” an hour of our normal sleeping time. Many people don’t even notice this “mini jetlag.” However, children and adolescents should be prepared for this change, because they are the most severely affected by it. This was stressed by Gerhard Klösch, sleep researcher at MedUni Vienna’s Department of Neurology. This is partly due to the different physiology of young people and partly to the constant availability of digital devices such as mobiles, tablets or computers. Says Klösch: “Up to the age of 10 we need between ten and eleven hours of restorative sleep and, as adolescent, around nine hours. It’s only when we are older that seven hours sleep is enough.” Scientific studies have shown that the change-over to summer time effectively costs children and adolescents 32 minutes sleep – and this deficit can be repeated daily for a period of two weeks and thus accumulate.”(more)

Early STEM Education For Young Children Becomes A Good Investment For Their Future

The University Herald – Audri Taylors

“Not many people realize how often STEM is actually experienced in their lives. Science is the natural world where everybody lives in, the lands, the oceans, the nature, the animals, and the list just goes on. Today, it is the technology that makes the biggest influence in people’s lives with smart phones, computers, but it still goes back to television, microscopes, radio and many other things. Engineering represents the roads, buildings, homes and bridges. Then mathematics is encountered at the bank, dealing with family budget, at the malls, and in nearly every aspect of the life of an individual. This is how important STEM is.”(more)

Let your child learn about manipulation

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


Manipulation is rampant in the digital age. It is easy for young people to be sucked into toxic personal relationships, political and social causes that are fronts for individuals and/or corporations that are attempting to gain power and money, and job situations where bosses or coworkers take advantage of them.

Most parents want to shelter their kids from these situations. Sheltering kids, however, may not be the best strategy. Instead it is better to empower kids, so they are not victims.

First, parents need to make sure their kids are confident, since it is harder for self-confident kids to be manipulated. Self-confidence is earned, not given, so is important to encourage children to explore many things and urge them to continue the activities that they enjoy and do well. In addition, it is essential that they learn the value of hard work. Also, it is imperative that the activities they selected are building self-confidence. Sometimes kids need to change activities as they grow to maintain healthy self-confidence.

The next step is to teach children how to identify a manipulative person, how to keep an emotional distance from such a person, and how to avoid personalization and self-blame. Then children need to learn how to turn the tables by asking probing questions and using time as a delay.

Finally parents need to allow controlled exposure. As counterintuitive as it sounds, kids need exposure to manipulators in safe environments, so they know when someone is trying to control them. In addition, kids need practice disarming a manipulator.

This means parents need to create learning opportunities. For example, a parent could consciously avoid speaking to school officials when a child’s classmate is “mean” on the playground, and instead help their child figure out how to handle situation him/herself. This playground practice should help prepare the child with more insidious manipulation that occurs when he/she is older.

As the child becomes more skilled at detecting and diverting manipulation, parents can gradually provide more exposure. By the time kids reach the teenage years, parents should expect them to discuss absences, homework, performance, and goals with coaches and teachers. In these conversations where will be many opportunities for the child to experience subtle and overt manipulation and to learn ways to remain in control.

Obviously there will be times parents have to step in, especially as when kids beginning interacting with adults, but parents should not be so protective that kids do not have an opportunity to learn.

Pupils need internet lessons to thrive online, say Lords

BBC – Judith Burns

“Learning to survive in a world dominated by the internet should be as important for children as reading and writing, says a House of Lords report. Lessons about online responsibilities, risks and acceptable behaviour should be mandatory in all UK schools, the Lords Communications Committee argues. The internet is “hugely beneficial” but children need awareness of its hazards, said committee chairman Lord Best. Industry leaders said education was key to keeping children safe online. The Lords report builds on findings by the Children’s Commissioner for England in January that the internet is not designed for children, despite them being the biggest users by age group. “Children inhabit a world in which every aspect of their lives is mediated through technology: from health to education, from socialising to entertainment. “Yet the recognition that children have different needs to those of adults has not yet been fully accepted in the online world,” say the Lords.”(more)

Parents’ advice can support or undermine targets of school bullying-prevention programs

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Children who are bystanders to a bullying incident are more likely to intervene if their parents have given them advice to intervene and less likely to intervene if their parents tell them to “stay out of it,” according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, a journal of the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. The study suggests that culturally-consistent family components may enhance and promote the success of school-based anti-bullying efforts.”(more)