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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.

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).

If You Thought Terrible Twos Were Bad Experts Say the ‘Threenager’ Is Way Worse!

Every parent or parent to-be has heard of the 'terrible two' phase but as someone who has been there four times, I can tell you that the twos are nothing compared to the age of three! At two they can be whiny and a bit defiant, but at three they can actually talk a bit more and it seems their attitude is beginning to fully develop!It seems that experts are now agreeing that while those two year old's are getting a bad rap, it's really the 'threenager' that parents need to be wary of!

10 Insights of Remarkable Parents from a Family Therapist

At any given time you’ll find four or more parenting books on my Amazon wish list, a few by my nightstand, and an email box chock full of insightful parenting theories and approaches.

Granted, child development is my career, but I speak with plenty of parents in my practice who find themselves in similar circumstances. With information around every corner and our culture projecting constant messages (many times contradictory) regarding how we should raise our kids, feeling like a confident and intentional parent can seem out of reach many days.

3 DISTURBING THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE EVER EATING AT SUBWAY AGAIN!

1. If you’ve ever wondered why their bread tastes so perfect, there’s your answer. It’s chemically engineered to taste a certain way, unlike healthy breads that contain far less science-produced ingredients.

2. Subway is just as unhealthy as McDonald’s.

3. People stop paying attention to what they’re eating when they assume they’re making a healthy choice. This leads to “treating” oneself by picking up higher calorie drinks and desserts.

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.

Meet the 11-year-old girl who scored an $11million deal with Whole Foods to sell her lemonade that's sweetened with honey in an effort to save bees

Mikaila Ulmer's BeeSweet Lemonade will be carried by 55 stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. When Whole Foods saw the promise in her lemonade, the supermarket agreed to sell the products in its regional stores. If Mikaila's lemonade does well, it'll eventually be sold nationwide.
The savvy 6th-grader from Austin, Texas, has developed her signature Me & The Bees lemonade stand into a thriving national business.

Thumb sucking, nail biting may combat allergies

Does your child suck her thumb or bite her nails? A long-term study suggests these “bad” habits might actually have a plus side: lasting protection from common allergies. Researchers followed a group of more than 1,000 children in New Zealand from birth through age 32. They asked the parents to report their children’s thumb-sucking and nail-biting habits at ages 5, 7, 9 and 11. Then they tested the children for allergic reactions using a skin-prick test at age 13, and again in adulthood at age 32.

Female chief in Malawi breaks up 850 child marriages and sends girls back to school

Theresa Kachindamoto, the senior chief in the Dedza District of Central Malawi, wields power over close to 900,000 people… and she’s not afraid to use her authority to help the women and girls in her district. In the past three years, she has annulled more than 850 child marriages, sent hundreds of young women back to school to continue their education, and made strides to abolish cleansing rituals that require girls as young as seven to go to sexual initiation camps...

BOY LOST 75% OF HIS EYESIGHT AFTER PLAYING WITH THIS COMMON TOY!

Children get cuts, scrapes and bruises. Curious and brave, kids are constantly playing and exploring. It’s part of growing up. But playtime that seems harmless can turn into something much more serious within seconds.

Using laser pointers to play pretend rocket ships or make the family pet run back and forth looks like fun. But an eight-year-old boy’s experience with laser pointers is proof of the serious damage they can cause. Johnny Marshall was at his sister’s school fair when he saw a laser pen at one of the vendor booths. After some begging and pleading, his parents gave in and bought him the toy. Johnny was playing with his new toy at home when he shone it into his eyes out of curiosity — something that many children might do. Within a quarter of a second, he was left with a thermal burn and permanent damage to his retina.

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.