THE DECLINE OF PLAY IN PRESCHOOLERS — AND THE RISE IN SENSORY ISSUES




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.

Raising Royal Babies: How Prince William and Kate Middleton Raise Prince George and Princess Charlotte

Prince George and Princess Charlotte may come from a royal family in the United Kingdom. However, their royalty parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton do not want both royal babies to receive the impeccable royal treatment. Even though they have inherited a number of luxury bedroom spreads around Kensington Palace in London, their royal parents prefer to treat them as average children.

As a result, Prince William takes on the responsibility to go on a 10-mile journey to pick up his son from pre-school. George who is now 2 years old has begun his study at East Walton's Westacre Montessori School for a 3 days a week program. This set up, makes Prince George converse better and improve his social skills by being around other pre-school students. This successfully eliminates the gap between the son of Royal Prince and the average regular student.

According to US Magazine, Prince William and Kate Middleton like to take care of their children by themselves without special assistance. "I very much feel if I can do it myself, I want to do it myself", Prince William explained after the birth of George 2 years ago.

'Tough Love' Parenting for Baby Boys Can Do More Harm Than Good

Baby boys don’t need to be “toughened up” by letting them cry or intentionally withholding your affection. In fact, doing so can lead to harmful consequences, says a recently published research review.

According to the research review published in Infant Mental Health Journal, baby boys are more vulnerable to stress due to “significant gender differences…between male and female social and emotional functions in the earliest stages of development.”

4 Things Worse Than Not Learning To Read In Kindergarten

The year Sam started kindergarten, he turned 6 in October. He was one of the oldest children in his class, and he didn’t know how to read. When he started first grade he was almost 7, and he still didn’t know how to read. Fortunately for Sam, he entered first grade in 1999. And his teachers, Mrs. Gantt and Mrs. Floyd, didn’t panic if a child didn’t learn to read in kindergarten. In fact, they expected that most children would learn to read in first grade. (They also supported and encouraged children who learned to read easily in kindergarten, like Sam’s brother Ben.)

8 Signs Of a Sensitive Kid and Why It's Actually a Good Thing

Many parents can relate to tears and hurt feelings during childhood but for those with a sensitive child, they are likely presented with these strong feelings much more often. Parents of sensitive children observe their little ones worrying more deeply about what others around them think and being more emotionally reactive. However, these kiddos also tend to make amazing friends because they are so intuitive and are able to easily empathize with others.

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.

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.