Best of the Web: Parent Anxiety Over Starting School, Your Right to Spy On Your Kids, Tips for Better Communication

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

(Amanda Mergler, The Conversation)

The rate at which parents are delaying their child starting school appears to be increasing. What factors are influencing parents?  This article is based on research by the author, which analysed more than 100 different discussion posts from an online parenting forum. What emerged were factors such as not wanting a child to be the youngest in their class. What was also clear was that the decision was a highly emotional one. Parents felt overwhelmed, anxious and stressed.

Of course parents have a right to spy on their kids

(Barbara Ellen, The Guardian)

What do your child isn’t responding to your texts or calls? Shrug your shoulders and hope everything is okay? Or start using a new app that lock the phone and sounds an alarm until your child replies? The author argues the latter is justified. ‘Parents not only have a right, they also need to know that their children are safe,’ she writes. ‘It’s this need, not the right, that I believe morally overrides the child’s entitlement to privacy.’

How children under pressure can lose confidence

(Ya-Hsin Lai, The Conversation)

Parenting can be a complicated business, and a place where it often can go off the rails is when a child becomes involved in an achievement-related activity. Witness parents applying pressure, becoming obsessive and inducing anxiety and stress, writes the author. This can result in unduly high expectations, and a reduced sense of security on the part of the child. Parents in this situation are objectifying their children, using them to satisfy their own need to achievement.

How parents can communicate more effectively with children

(Jill Suttie, Greater Good Magazine, UC Berkeley)

Those tried-and-true parenting phrases are part of a parents’ took kit: You need to share, for instance. But are parents getting it all wrong? Author Jennifer Lehr thinks so. In her new book ParentSpeak, she challenges the thinking about how we speak to children, and the messages we are unconsciously sending. A young child being told to share can’t yet understand another person’s perspective. The message is what somebody else wants is more important.

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