Best of the Web: Dads Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes, Hard Work doesn’t Always Pay Off, and Navigating Parent-Teacher Interviews, and more

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


The author’s morning coffee was interrupted by a ‘magnificent rendition’ of a tune from The Little Mermaid by a hipster Dad, dropping his daughter at school. They’d been listening it to in the car, and Dad was finishing it off, accompanied by hand gestures and facial expressions. It was a real life example of men breaking down gender stereotypes. The article is a shout-out to the men who are making positive change.

It’s Wrong to Tell Our Kids That Hard Work Always Pays Off

(Rachel Simons, TIME)

Have you told your child that they can achieve anything if they are willing to work for it? After reading this contribution by an expert in resilience in young adults, you might want to reconsider your message. It leads to unhealthy perfectionism, and young people not knowing when they should back off. ‘The humbling, brutal, messy reality of life is that you can do everything in your power – and still fail,’ she writes. It’s those who can say ‘stuff happens’ that are the most resilient.

Why parents should think twice about tracking apps for their kids

(Joel Michael Reynolds, The Conversation)

In this age of the app, there are plenty that can help a parent keep tabs on their children: where they are, who they call and message. The author, a bioethicist whose field is the ethics of emerging technologies, has simple advice for parents: don’t. He worries that tracking technologies are transforming ‘prudent parenting into surveillance patenting’. He’s concerned about data leakage, and companies profiting from the data the apps reap. And there’s the question of trust.

Navigating high school parent-teacher interviews

(Amy Gray, ABC Life)

Parent-teacher interview nights can be stressful affairs for everyone involved. While the primary school versions are usually positive events that take place on tiny chairs, the secondary school equivalent can be very different. Writes the author, they ‘feel like a deathly combination of speed dating and endurance race as you sprint from room to room to get five minutes with an equally harried teacher before running off to the next one.’  Read what parents and teachers think, and get some practical advice for good interviews.


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