Best of the Web

Cooking with kids a recipe for happiness, how to ease back from helicopter parenting, why girls need aunties, and more...

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.


Cooking with your children can make your life easier

(Robyn Cook, ABC Life)

The author – whose job it is to teach adults and kids about preparing healthy food – acknowledges that it’s not so easy in the real world to involve kids in cooking. There’s limited time and energy at the end of the day. But getting kids involved at all ages has some great pay offs – including sharing the cooking load when they get older. They also learn valuable life skills along the way, such as understanding and controlling emotions, and developing empathy. 


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How I curbed my helicopter parenting – and let my daughter jump through fire

(Rebecca Schiller, The Guardian)

A self-confessed helicopter parents stands watching her nine-year-old daughter preparing to jump through a ring of fire. The setting is an annual family festival in the United Kingdom, which has as its mission letting kids roam free. It’s a rite of passage for both mother and daughter: an anxious over-protective parent, and a child facing a big and scary challenge, despite all the training she has done. So begins an insightful exploration of our natural tendency to protect our children, and how we can pull back from overbearing hovering.


Aunties may be as important as mums when it comes to raising women

(Maggie Dent, ABC Life)

Modern life can be particularly tough on girls, with pressures such as social media. They need support different to that offered by their mums. Enter the aunty. They can be the caring adult who can mentor and support, providing a positive role model. It’s a relationship that doesn’t necessarily require a blood tie, and can extend well into adulthood. They are there in both the good times and the tough times, people who can ‘listen respectfully’ without judgement.


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Please stop giving kids participation awards

(Carolyn Tate, Essential Kids)

The school had never been big on competition. On sports days, there were no finals, only ribbons for place-getters in the heats. This year, when the author arrived to watch her children, there had been a change in policy. The ribbons had been ditched, with each child getting  a ‘I ran a race’ sticker. Enough already, argues the author. Not everything needs to be a competition, but an athletics carnival gives kids the chance to strive, and learn valuable life lessons.

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