Best of the Web

A University of Melbourne expert on why adolescents shouldn't drink, the book behind Boss Baby, and why it's okay for young children to have imaginary friends - our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

Expert’s message to parents of teens: ‘the best policy is no drinking alcohol’

(Chloe Booker, The Age)

Should a teenager be able to drink in a controlled setting? This is a dilema many parents confront: does a glass of wine at the family dinner table actually promote responsible use of alcohol?  The message from Professor George Patton, who is an adolescent health expert at the University of Melbourne, is unequivocal: ‘The best policy is no drinking alcohol during adolescence. The evidence on this is becoming far clearer.’

The Picture Book Behind The New Movie ‘Boss Baby’

(Elissa Nadworny, nprEd)

The animated movie Boss Baby has been delighting audiences in recent weeks.  Before the movie, came the 32-page picture book, written by award-winning author and illustrator Marla Frazee. This interview with Frazee looks at how the idea of a story where the baby becomes the boss of the family came about, and how it made the journey from the page to the big screen.  The article also has a link where you can listen to the interview with Maria Frazee.

Is my son’s imaginary friend a real problem?

(John Sharry, Irish Times)

Young children often find the best company is the friend they imagine. A parent writes in about her five-year-old son, an only child,  and his imaginary friend Jack. Jack gets mentioned in conversation and she’s watched her son playing with Jack and having fun. But the parent worries whether all is fine. John Sharry, a social worker and psychotherapist, assures the parent that imaginary friends are a form of creative play for young children, with as many as 60 per cent of them going through the phase.

Parents’ reactions can lessen or worsen pain for injured kids

(Erin Brown and Justin Kenardy, The Conversation)

Parents know the anxiety and stress they feel when their child is injured, but could the parents’ reaction make the situation worse for their children? The authors report on new research that looked at family coping and distress during a dressing change following a burn injury a Brisbane hospital. Anxious and distressed parents were less able to support their child, whose pain and discomfort was greater. The study shows that parents need support, which would also benefit the child.

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