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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.

This Is What Screen Time Really Does to Kids' Brains

Screen time is an inescapable reality of modern childhood, with kids of every age spending hours upon hours in front of iPads, smartphones and televisions. That’s not always a bad thing: Educational apps and TV shows are great ways for children to sharpen their developing brains and hone their communication skills—not to mention the break these gadgets provide harried parents. But tread carefully: A number of troubling studies connect delayed cognitive development in kids with extended exposure to electronic media. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that American children spend a whopping seven hours a day in front of electronic media. Other statistics reveal that kids as young as two regularly play iPad games and have playroom toys that involve touch screens.

What It’s Like When Your Kid Is A Chatterbox

When the time came for my daughter to string sentences together, she never stopped. She talked and talked, and when she ran out of stuff to say, well, she just made noises. These days, my daughter always has a thought to share or observations to vocalize. From the time she’s up to the time she’s fast asleep, there are few quiet moments in between without thoughts, ideas, out-loud play, questions, or commentary. Having a talkative kid has its pros and cons, as anyone with a chatterbox will know.

Why parents should encourage their kids to read ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,’ according to a top psychologist

Apart from the facts that the “Harry Potter” series has reached more people than any other book series in history and inspired an entire generation to read, Adam Grant, a professor of management at Wharton and author of “Originals,” tells Business Insider that J.K. Rowling is perhaps the most influential person alive because of what her books teach kids: originality and morality.

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!

15-Year-Old Sushma Verma, Daughter Of A Sanitation Worker, Is India's Youngest PhD Student

In a country where more than 35 per cent of girls are discouraged from studying and going to school, young prodigy Sushma Verma from Lucknow has a different story to tell! At age 7 when most of us were barely able to dedicate 30 minutes to studying, Sushma had already completed her 10th. At the young age of 13, she had enrolled herself in college and was getting her Master’s Degree in Microbiology from Lucknow University.

10 Simple Tips To Boost Your Toddler’s Memory

The first few years of a child’s life are crucial for their cognitive development, also known as the formative years, whereby neural connections are being made and the brain is “wired”. The first 3 years of life have been identified by neuroscientists and developmental psychologists as important for domains such as early language and joint attention. The brain has many functions and interestingly, studies have shown that “attention control” and “working memory” are two faculties that largely develop after birth. The ability to choose the right information to focus on, and thereafter retain it, is important for learning.