SHOULD WE ALL BE RAISING GENDER-NEUTRAL KIDS?




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...

Dad's Unwashed Hand Almost Killed A Baby

"RSV is no joke," the dad explained in his post. "I didn't know much about it until a week ago when it almost took my daughter from me. Please make sure to wash your hands before handling little ones."

RSV is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. And while most healthy adults usually experience mild, cold-like symptoms and recover in a week or two, RSV can be serious, especially for infants. In fact, according to the CDC, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 in the United States.

Why We Should Stop Blaming Disney Princesses For Gender Behavior And Body Image Issues On Young Girls

"It's time to stop princess shaming. There are thousands of gendered messages my little girl absorbs every day: the way I curse how my pants fit, the way shopkeepers talk to her, the way teachers assume that I am the dominant caregiver," Vardanis wrote. "There are so many battles to be fought, but princesses with sparkly tiaras may be the least of our worries."

Perhaps the best way to lessen the negative effects of the Disney princess culture to young girls is to expose them to all things in moderation, Time reports. Disney also made an effort in redesigning its Disney Princess collection by introducing braver, "more empowered" and "less boy-crazy" princesses such as Merida of "Brave" and Elsa of "Frozen."

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.

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.

Stop Telling Me I'm "Lucky" To Have A Husband Who Helps With The Kids

But despite all of my husband’s wonderful qualities, I have to admit that it’s always made me slightly uncomfortable when anyone has told me how “lucky” I am to have the type of husband that I do — the kind that thinks of nothing of getting up with our kids at night, the kind that happily makes dinner, the kind that I would never doubt could handle all four of our offspring on his own if I happened to have an overnight business trip. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)