Best of the Web: 4 character strengths that help kids learn, and more

How character traits have a profound influence on learning, why grandmothers are so connected to their grandkids, and busting parenting myths by trying to be like Bluey's Dad.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

4 character strengths that can help kids learn

(Carol Lloyd, the Greater Good Magazine)

When it comes to how kids learn, the author notes, there’s the ‘old mechanistic dichotomy’ that learning happens in the head, while character happens in the heart.

Working on a podcast about the science of learning, it soon became clear to her that character has a profound influence on every aspect of learning.

Teaching kids about forgiveness not only changes their outlook on life, but improves their grades. Kids with a sense of purpose find their school workout is more meaningful and more within their control. Gratitude helps them tap into their motivation to learn. And being humble helps admitting what you don’t know.

The article takes a deeper dive into these four traits, and provides useful takeaways for parents on how to nurture them, not only making better people but better learners.

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Grandmothers may be more connected to grandchildren than to own offspring

(Linda Geddes, The Guardian)

Now we are back to visiting family, you may have had a familiar experience when you arrive with the kids to see their grandparents: the grandparents seem more excited to see them than you.

Don’t take it personally – there’s some science going on.

‘They say that grandchildren are life’s greatest joy,’ the article begins, ‘and now the first study to examine grandmothers’ brain function has suggested grannies may be more emotionally connected to their grandkids than to their own sons and daughters.’

The article says that since the 1960s, it’s been posited that women survived long after their reproductive years to increase their grandchildren’s likelihood of surviving, through physical support.

More recently, there’s evidence that engaged grandparents help children’s wellbeing and educational performance.

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Being Bluey's dad for one day busted some big parenting myths for me

(Dan Colasimone, ABC)

Like many other parents, the author has watched Bluey and admired the ‘aspirational’ parenting skills of Dad Bandit and Mum Chilli.

The father of daughters aged two and four decided on an experiment: spend ‘an entire day trying to match Bandit’s legendary dad energy’ by agreeing to do whatever his kids wanted, for as long as they wanted.

‘If this was an episode of Bluey it would be called “Yes Day”.’

It was a rollercoaster day of activities led by two little people that included babychinos at the local cafe, a game at the playground called Daddy Monster, and a visit to a koala sanctuary.

So what was the result of ‘Yes Day’? Exhaustion, of course, and a realisation about that it’s all about achieving a balance and doing the best you can.

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