Best of the Web: Don’t Take Away Technology to Punish, Why Kids Arguing is Good, and Talking about Mental Health

Why you shouldn't use technology as a bargaining chip, loving a good argument, and conversations about mental health.

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

Don’t use technology as a bargaining chip with your kids

(Joan Orlando, The Conversation)

Our teenagers love their technology, so doesn’t it make sense to use its withdrawal as a form of punishment? Confiscating a phone because they came home late from a party, for instance? The author, a researcher from the Western Sydney University, interviewed 50 Australian families. Her qualitative investigation suggests that using technology as a bargaining chip can have adverse effects. ‘It may impact the trust you build with your child and how they use technology,’ she writes.

Kids, Would You Please Start Fighting?

(Adam Grant, The New York Times)

If you’re aiming for a peaceful home, where quallering is discouraged, you may be getting it all wrong. If children aren’t exposed to disagreement, we will end up limiting their creativity, the author argues. Take Wilbur and Orville Wright, who argued as a way of finding the solutions to problems. The author makes the case for arguments that don’t become personal. Parents, he says, should be modeling ‘courteous conflict’ and teach kids how to have healthy disagreements.

How to raise successful kids without overparenting


The starting point for this contribution to the parenting debate is that parents can’t win. Pay too much attention to your child then you are a helicopter parent, too little and you’re an absentee parent. So what’s the happy medium, asks this post from the people at TED. Five tops tips from five experts have been collected. Among the advice: don’t worry about raising happy kids, and why the little things such as reading to them daily matter.

Parents – talk to your kids about mental health. Even if it’s awkward

(Hannah Jane Parkinson, The Guardian)

This report from the United Kingdom reports on survey findings that 45 per cent of parents don’t talk to their children about mental health because ‘it isn’t an issue’. Yet one in 10 young people are diagnosed with a condition. The article notes that the stigma surrounding mental health means it’s no surprise parents feel uncomfortable discussing it with their children. ‘But mental health shouldn’t be a taboo subject, and the sooner children learn this the better.’