Category Archives: Parenting & Child Development

Kindergarten: learn to read?

In an article titled “Reading at Five – Why?” pubished in SEEN (Souteast Eductiaon Network) Joan Almon writes about the lack of evidence showing any benefits for the trend of teaching children reading at increasingly earlier ages.

“Stephen Hinshaw at the University of California at Berkeley, an expert in hyperactive disorders, spoke of the need for a broad-based kindergarten approach. He was quoted in Time magazine in 2003, saying, “Even more vital than early reading is the learning of play skills, which form the foundation of cognitive skills.” He pointed out that in Europe children are often not taught to read until age seven.”

“… young children are deeply curious and learn a great deal through self-directed exploration. High school science teachers now speak of the need for more inquiry-based learning, which is exactly the way young children learn if encouraged to do so.”

Read the full article here.

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Why Fevers are Your Friend

Health and medical journalists are not presently providing the public with what might be the most important health advice that they should be given during the flu season:   people with the flu should avoid taking fever-reducing drugs, such as aspirin or acetaminophen (aka TylenolTM), except in rare situations

…fever is a vital defense of the body in its efforts to fight infection.  A fever enables the body to increase its production of interferon, an important antiviral substance that is critical for fighting infection.  Fever also increases white blood cell mobility and activity, which are instrumental factors in fighting infection.
(There are, of course, some exceptions … seek medical care if one’s fever is above 104 degrees for over six hours or in any fever in an infant under four months of age.)
The above exceprt is from the article “Epidemic Of Fever Phobia: The Facts On Why Fever Is Your Friend” by Dana Ullman, pubished in the Huffington Post Sep 30, 2009.  Read the whole article here.
On the subject of Tylenol, newly publicized research shows that there is significant overdose risk.  And studies show that children who take Tylenol even as seldomly as once a month have significantly increased risk of asthma.  (CNN article from 2010 states double the risk  whereas The Healthy Home Economist in Sept 2013 states a 540% increased risk for once a month takers.

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Filed under Chinese Medicine, Health, Parenting & Child Development, Seasons & Rhythm

Alternatives to “Time Outs” –

The following excerpt comes an article titled “Time Out vs. Time In: What’s the difference?” from Positive Parenting Connection website
Read the whole article here, originally published July 19, 2012

During the time in,  parents are encouraged to empathize with the child’s feelings and often just quiet connection is all that is needed until the storm has passed. It doesn’t mean that you must let your child continue with a behavior that is inappropriate. The time in gives you the opportunity to really connect and then address whatever change needs to be made.

Some of the reasons Time IN or positive time out works:

*children are likely to feel that their needs are being considered

*there can be connection between parent and child before a correction is presented

*children are given time to properly process a range of feelings

*parents don’t feel out of control or create a power struggle to keep child in the time out.

*children don’t feel isolated, shamed or scared

*It gives parent and children an opportunity to talk about the real issue at hand

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“…it is clear that when adults praise children for seemingly inborn characteristics like being smart, it creates the opposite effect.  Children become less willing to take on challenges because they don’t want to risk losing their label of smartness.  Praising children for their effort and their strategies is much more effective.  Like happiness, self-esteem is a by-product of trying hard, making mistakes, failing and learning to go forward toward a goal.”

Full article “Success in Parenting – Avoiding the Happiness and Self-Esteem Traps” by Ellen Galinsky available here, published in the Huffington Post 07/05/2012

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