SLEEP CRITICALLY AFFECTS CHILDHOOD BRAIN DEVELOPMENT




How our toddlers showed us that they’d reached key milestones.

One of the most fascinating things of parenting is watching your children learn and develop. From the moment they are placed in your arms their little minds are absorbing knowledge and information from the world around them. They’re always watching, always listening (even when you wish they weren’t!) and all the time, their minds are expanding. There’s no ‘off’ switch when it comes to toddler’s learning. From the minute they wake in the (very) early morning their brains are little sponges; soaking up whatever their environment has to offer.

Navigating Your Identity as a Parent and an Educator

Tips for Parent-Educators: These are the top things I wish someone had said to me as I offered my first born to his first school.

1. Be a parent, first and foremost. That's what your kid needs most from you.
2. Proactively build a relationship with your child's teacher at the beginning of the year. Don't wait until there's a problem to sit down with them.
3. If a teacher doesn't ask about your child's strengths and interests, share those.
4. Also share anything you think the teacher should know about your kid that would help them be effective, such as that your kid is an introvert and won't often participate in whole-class discussions. (Again, hopefully they ask this question, but if not, share it.)
5. If your child complains about being bored, class being too hard, not being treated well by peers or adults, listen to your child. Don't hope it'll get better. Go to school and talk to people. Observe classes.
6. Don't be afraid of talking to the principal. Don't be afraid of making requests. You can do this kindly and thoughtfully, but your job, again, is to advocate for your kid.

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.

Four Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore or Punish Toddler Tantrums

Popular parenting wisdom advises dealing with toddler tantrums in one of two ways. Ignore the ‘attention seeking behaviour’ and reward the toddler when they are good, or discipline the toddler by punishing them through exclusion. The naughty step and time out are commonplace in millions of homes around the world. Do they really work though? Child psychology and neuroscience says otherwise. Here are four reasons why you may want to reconsider your response the next time your toddler has a tantrum.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A KID LEAVES TRADITIONAL EDUCATION

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.

7 Brands of Sunscreens To Avoid For Your Kid!

According to the EWG’s report, these are the 7 worst sunscreens for kids:

1. Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
2. Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, Wacky Foam and Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 55
3. CVS Baby Sunstick Sunscreen and Spray, SPF 55
4. Equate Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
5. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray and Stick products, SPF 70
6. Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
7. Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Sunscreen for Kids, SPF 70

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.

Brain Development in the Pre-K and K Years

During pre-school and Kindergarten, the brain grows steadily, increasing from seventy percent to ninety percent of its eventual adult weight. In addition to gains in size, the brain undergoes considerable reshaping and refining. Among these modifications are profound changes in the frontal lobes-areas of the brain devoted to regulating thought and action. The frontal lobes govern the inhibition of impulse, orderly memory, and the integration of information- capacities that facilitate reasoning and problem solving. All these skills improve considerably in kindergarten children.

20 Things To Say To Your Child Instead Of “Don’t Cry”

We don’t always appreciate it when our children begin to cry, but what they are actually doing is making use of the body’s innate recovery system. When we get hurt, physically or emotionally, instead of storing it all up in our bodies as tension, we can make use of crying, laughter, raging or trembling. This is how the body processes and releases feelings. Most of us don’t do this often, having being told “Don’t cry” since we were small, but our children still have their recovery system intact.

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).

After Losing Her Son In A Car Accident, Grieving Mom Urges Parents To “Hug Your Babies" Close

My kids have this really annoying habit of popping out of their rooms 15 times after they’re tucked in. They also have this uncanny ability to know exactly when I need some personal space, because that’s when they choose to be extra cuddly and clingy. They bicker with each other, and change their minds about what they want for lunch after I’ve made the previously requested meal. In other words, they are kids and they do a lot of those things kids do that drive parents absolutely bonkers.