Best of the Web: Help Your Child Deal with Social Exclusion, Support Teens to Make Better Decisions, and Good Parenting Produces Olympians

How to help your child when they are excluded by friends, why teens make bad decisions, and who needs times tables.

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

Six Ways to Help Your Child Deal with Social Exclusion

(Katie Hurley, Greater Good Magazine, UC Berkeley)

The pain of being excluded from a group of friends can be devastating for a child. It forms part of a collection of behaviours known as relational aggression. Apart from social exclusion, think gossiping, spreading rumours, public humiliation, and alliance building. Unlike physical bullying, it can be hard for adults to spot. The author, who wrote the book No More Mean Girls, offers some practical advice for parents to engage with and help their child deal with the impact of this damaging behaviour.

A parent’s guide to why teens make bad decisions

(James McCue, The Conversation)

Poor choices and teenagers seem to go together. This isn’t simply a matter of judgement, but has a physiological basis. As the author writes, a teen’s developing brain places them at greater risk of reactive decisions, and less able to consider the consequences of those decisions. The good news is that good decision-making skills can be learned. The article offers several strategies for parents to help their teens.

What Parents Can Learn From a Town That Produced 11 Olympians

(Karen Crouse, The New York Times)

The author began researching the small US town of Norwich, trying to work out how a town of only 3000 people has produced 11 Olympians. As she writes, what started out as a sports book evolved into what is essentially a parenting book.  She discovered that Norwich’s secret to happiness and excellence could be traced to the way the town collectively raises its children. Among other things, it’s an approach that stresses participation over prowess.

I’ve never known my times tables. Frankly, who needs them?

(Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

Twelve sixes equals … did you stumble with the answer? This may not be the case for the current crop of English primary school children, with the government announcing that mandatory times tables tests are back on the agenda. The author struggled with his tables at school. He tried and failed. ‘And it has never done me any harm,’ he writes. Despite this, he has been reluctant to let it be known he is an anti-times-table-ist, for fear of the superior reactions from those who learned their tables by rote.

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