Foster their imagination: Why fewer toys will benefit your kids

Toys are not merely playthings. Toys form the building blocks for our child’s future. They teach our children about the world and about themselves. They send messages and communicate values. And thus, wise parents think about what foundation is being laid by the toys that are given to their kids.
Wise parents also think about the number of toys that children are given. While most toy rooms and bedrooms today are filled to the ceiling with toys, intentional parents learn to limit the number of toys that kids have to play with.

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

We've somehow decided that little kids can't understand these complex topics, or we want to delay exposing them to injustices as long as possible (even though not all children have the luxury of being shielded from injustice).

However, young children have a keen awareness of and passion for fairness. They demand right over wrong, just over unjust. And they notice differences without apology or discomfort.

Racial identity and attitudes begin to develop in children at a young age. Two- and three-year-olds become aware of the differences between boys and girls, may begin noticing obvious physical disabilities, become curious about skin color and hair color/texture, and may also be aware of ethnic identity.

5 Elementary Strategies

1. Use children's literature: There's a wealth of children's books (check out here: http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/books-matter/#.VwQW3_krLcs) that can be read aloud and independently to approach the topic of bias, diversity, and social justice.

2. Use the news media: Find topics and news stories that bring forth these themes and discuss them in the classroom -- like the nine-year-old boy who was banned from bringing his My Little Pony backpack to school because it was the source of bullying.

3. Teach anti-bias lessons: Social and emotional skill development lessons are the foundation, and then teachers can move to lessons on identity, differences, bias, and how bias and bullying can be addressed individually and institutionally.

4. Give familiar examples.
Take advantage of children's interest in books, TV shows, toys, and video games, and use them as opportunities to explore diversity, bias, and social justice.

5. Explore solutions: Re-think the concept of "helping others" to include discussions about the inequities that contribute to the problem and consider actions that can address it. For example, while it's useful to provide food to homeless people, we want to deepen the conversation to convey a social justice perspective and a wider lens with children. Therefore, discuss the stigma and stereotypes of homeless people, learn about unfair housing policies, and reflect on solutions that will reverse the problem in a lasting way and encourage students to take action.

All The Ways Parents Enable Bratty Kids And What Can Be Done To Fix It

Elaine Rose Glickman, parent and author of Your Kid’s A Brat, And It’s All Your Fault, says that a kid’s shitty behavior, at least partially, comes from the ones that made them.

“Most people have a sense of when their child has gone off the rails, and lot of times we deny it and we try to push it down,” says Glickman. It’s completely natural for a kid to test the limits, but when it becomes behavioral pattern, that’s when they’ve crossed the line into brattiness, and it’s up to you to do more than just dismiss it as a tantrum or a phase. “Some things we overlook or explain away are behaviors we need to deal with.” So how should we deal with?

1. To Be A Parent, You Have to Actually BE A Parent
2. “It’s Just A Phase” Is BS
3. The Whining Has to Stop
4. Limit Their Options
5. Let Them Be Mad Sometimes
6. Mind Their Manners

STUDY: Children with Better Relationships with Fathers Less Likely to Have Behavioral Problems

Research has found that the closer a child is to their father, the less likely they are to have behavioral problems in the future, Independent reports.

After examining data from parents of 10,440 children, the researchers found that fathers who were emotionally involved with their child and who felt confident in their role as a parent had kids who were 28% less likely to suffer behavioral problems.

The researchers concluded that the psychological and emotional aspects of fatherhood are more powerful in influencing child behavior—not the amount of time fathers help in childcare or domestic tasks.

5 Ways To Use Magnetic Letters & Free Printables

I love magnetic letters and I recently bought myself some lowercase magnets and decided to create some printables to use as mats to place over cookie sheets and turn them into wonderful magnetic free choice activities. Lowercase letter magnets are so versatile and no matter what level your child is at I have a printable or two that will work perfectly. But before I link the free printables I want to share with you some of the benefits of using these manipulatives in your class or homeschool program

5 Activities to Help your Preschooler's Pre-writing Skills

Parents with preschoolers are often on the search for activities that can help prepare their children for the basic or fundamental skills they need for school, usually termed as “the three R’s,” namely reading, writing and `rithmetic (arithmetic).

What some parents don’t know though is that laying the foundation for their skills need not entail enrolling their kids in school as early as 1 or 2 years old. There are actually a lot of activities that young kids can do in the comfort of their own homes – whether under the supervision of Mommy (or Daddy).

Helicopter Parenting Linked To Anxiety And Depression In Children

Raise your hand if you end up doing the majority of your kid’s language arts homework? Or is it just me who spent an entire weekend making a booklet on penguins and writing an essay on Mandela? It isn’t so much that I want to control everything, but I have a fear that if my son hasn’t properly researched a speech or presentation he has to make, he’ll get up in front of his class and make a huge fool of himself. My husband frequently reminds me, “It isn’t your homework, it’s his.” He refuses to get involved, but I just can’t help myself.....

4 Types of Parenting Styles

The type of discipline you use can have a dramatic effect on your child’s development. Your discipline strategies can have a big impact on the type of relationship you have with your child. The various approaches to discipline can even influence a child’s mood and temperament into adulthood.

Researchers have discovered four types of parenting styles. These different styles are dependent on what the parent feels the child needs from them.

As a result, each parenting style uses a different approach to discipline.


Logan Laplante is a 13 year-old boy who was taken out of the education system to be home schooled instead. As a result, he was given the opportunity to receive an education tailored to his interests and his unique style of learning – something traditional education is not always able to offer. In a pretty remarkable show of wisdom, particularly for someone so young, Logan has said that when he grows up he wants to be happy and healthy. At a TEDx talk in 2013, he discussed how hacking his education is helping him achieve that goal.

8 Essential Skills You Never Learn In School -- Thus Should Teach Your Child

Here are eight vital life skills that children aren’t taught in school:

1. Independence: Teaching children, a little at a time, to be independent, can show them that they can make decisions on their own. Letting them make their own mistakes can teach them valuable lessons they’ll carry with them.

2. Compassion: Compassion is needed to work well with others, to care for other people and to find happiness through making other people happy.

3. Individuality: They need to be taught that we come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and it is perfectly OK to be unique.

4. Welcoming Change: Teaching children that change isn’t something to be afraid of – just something to prepare for – can help them in so many aspects throughout their life.

5. Happiness: Many parents coddle their children in an attempt to keep them happy and safe, but it can make children rely on their parents for their happiness. Teaching a child from an early age that they can be happy on their own, by things like playing, reading and imagining, is a valuable life lesson.

6. Finding Passion: Many people struggle with finding their passion. Helping a child find what he or she is passionate about by allowing them to try a bunch of different things can help them find a source of lifelong internal happiness and motivation. Encourage the adventure, but let children decide on their own, where they find passion.

7. Asking questions: Teaching children that asking questions is a good thing, can encourage their curiosity and help them continue to seek knowledge in different aspects of life.

8. Solving problems: Constantly solving a child’s problems for them won’t help them as they grow. They need to know that they can solve problems on their own. New skills, a new environment, a new job – they’re all just problems to be solved. Modeling problem solving and allowing children to come up with their solution ideas can help them develop confidence and let them know that whatever comes their way, they are capable of handling it.