Best of the Web

Why parents should just relax, a struggling mum saved by a random act of kindness and the importance of happy schools – our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

‘Just calm down’: Researcher urges parents to stop aiming for perfection

(Emma Wynne, 720 ABC Perth)

Dr Bronwyn Harman has completed her doctorate on what makes a good parent. Her conclusion? Love, time and good boundaries are what children need. Parents, she argues, are overly-anxious about getting it right, and end up feeling judged and insecure. According to Dr Harman, parenting has become a professional sport. She says parents should accept that they are not perfect and are doing the best they can. ‘Just chill and enjoy your kids.’

To the Lady at the Pool Who Spoke Up During One of My Lowest Parenting Moments

(Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, The Mighty)

The author was nine months pregnant with her third child, with a 19-month-old daughter and a three-year-old who would later be diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. One scorching morning at the pool, her son melted down. The pool mums looked away. Then came the female voice: ‘Bravo, mama! Bra-vo! No one here will say this to you, but you are doing the right thing. You’ve got this.’ She then started to clap her hands. That act of kindness and encouragement was lasting and profound.

What’s really behind Australia’s declining international education results

(Kelsey Munro, The Sydney Morning Herald)

The decline of Australian students in the international benchmarks for reading and numeracy has prompted an intense educational – and political – debate. What’s to blame?  Finnish education expert Pasi Sahlberg argues that a key factor is the rise of the smartphone. He predicts a big battle over whether technology in the classroom is helpful or harmful.

How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed

(Kat Lonsdorf, npred)

At Weiner Elementary School, the day starts with a dance party. The approach at the Arkansas school is all about creating a sense of community and happiness – what’s called school climate. New research shows that this is something that should be prioritised. The study looked at 15 years of research on schools worldwide, and found a positive school climate had a significant impact on academic achievement.