Best of the Web

Helping students recognise their strengths, the debate over skirts as uniforms, why an app is not a babysitter, and what if your child is a cyberbully – our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

Finding kids’ strengths (and why being good at singing isn’t the same as being a superstar)

(Lea Waters, The Guardian)

We’ve all heard the saying ‘play to your strengths’, begins Lea Waters. But what do we really mean? Professor Waters, from the University of Melbourne, challenges the focus on high-performance that leaves many young people feeling like they don’t have strengths. We haven’t taught young people to see their own strengths – which include character-based strengths.  (If you’re interested in reading more from Professor Waters, there is our interview with her on Mindful Parenting.)

Why do we still make girls wear dresses and skirts as school uniforms?

(Amanda Mergler, The Conversation)

One of the debates over the summer break has been what we expect girls to wear to school. The discussion was kicked off by this article, which explored issues such as gender disadvantage and discrimination, and the wearing of skirts stopping girls from taking part in sports.

Worried About Screen Time? Don’t Let the Kids Go It Alone

(Elissa Nadworny, nprEd)

With more than 80,000 educational apps in Apple’s app store, the temptation may be to just hand your toddler a tablet and watch them swipe their way to brilliance. This article has a clear message to parents: an app is not a babysitter, and they need parents to help them use it.  How young children learn from touchscreens has been the subject of studies, which reinforce the importance of the human element.

Is your child a cyberbully, and if so, what should you do?

(Jane Wakefield, the BBC)

Parents are rightfully concerned about cyberbullying. But what if your child is the cyberbully? This was the question posed by a BBC reader, following a report on children struggling to cope online. The BBC sought different perspectives: the parent, the expert and the view from a social media platform.