Best of the Web

The Case for Girls' Schools, What Teens Need Most from Their Parents, and Why Kids Need to be Bored. A selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

The Case for Girls’ Schools

(Fran Reddan, The Age)

If we live in a co-ed world, shouldn’t all schools be co-ed? In this opinion article, Fran Reddan, president of the Alliance of Girls’ Schools, points out that we don’t live in a balanced, co-ed world, and that sadly, we are still lacking in gender equality. ‘Do we really an education system that comprises only co-ed schools,?’ asks Ms Reddan, Principal at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School. ‘What’s wrong with having schools that have their absolute focus on supporting, educating, and giving opportunities to girls?’ The case for choosing a girls’ school is strong, Ms Reddan argues.

What Teens Need Most from Their Parents

(Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal)

As the author begins, the teenage years can be mystifying for parents, as sensible children turned scatter-brained or start having mood swings. New research is changing the view that parents should step back in adolescence. Increasingly, it is being viewed as an opportunity to stay tuned in and emotionally connected. The article gives a parents a guide to what they can expect and do based on different ages and stages.

Child Blackmail Case Exposes Dangers of Facebook and Instagram

(Chris Johnston, The Age)

Victoria Police is urging parents to stay alert and monitor their children’s social media use, following a terrifying case in which a Melbourne man blackmailed young Australian girls to send him pornographic selfies on social media. Daniel Watson, now serving a 10-year prison sentence, used every day social media sites and apps such as Facebook and Instagram, initially pretending to be a teenage girl.

The Best Way to Fight with a Teenager

(Lisa Damour, The New York Times)

If conflict is inevitable when raising teenagers, can arguments be seen as an opportunity for development? This article says that how disagreements are handled at home shapes adolescent mental health and the overall quality of the parent-teenager relationship. And it influences how teenagers manage other relationships. The experts identify four distinct ways teenagers approach disputes: attacking, withdrawing, complying and problem solving. The latter delivers the best results.

Author Andy Griffiths on Why Kids Need to be Bored

(Kerrie O’Brien, The Age)

Popular Australian children’s author Andy Griffiths has some firm advice for parents: butt out of their children’s lives. ‘I think parents are way too much in their kids’ business,’ says Griffiths. ‘I would rather parents concentrate on making themselves happier and fulfilled people and lead by example there.’ The best-selling author advocates encouraging parents to let their children get bored regularly, and is concerned about over-scheduled children. Griffiths, a former secondary teacher, is best known for his Treehouse series.