Best of the Web: How to make small moments of joy, and more

Creating your moments of joy in difficult times, the best way to encourage empathy in teens, and getting the silent treatment from your preppy.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

How to find small moments of joy in dark times

(Angela Haupt, TIME)

This excellent article was recently shared by the editor-in-chief of TIME for Kids – an easy-to-access guide to finding joy in our lives. In a world that often seems in turmoil, it’s a valuable reminder that we still have some agency over how we are feeling – important advice for parents, carers and, well, everybody.

The starting point is that even small moments of joy can have a disproportionate impact on our sense of wellbeing.

It’s the little things that sometimes matter, and we can create many small moments of joy ourselves.

So how do we trigger joy in dark times? Ideas include creating a joy bucket list, storing it on your phone where you can easily access it. It might include an activity that you love, such as sharing new experiences with family. Or give yourself a playful recess break once or twice a day – one experience shared here is a hula-hoop session.

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Should you reward teens for being kind?

(Maryann Abdullah, Greater Good Magazine)

When we think about the kind of people we want our kids to become, kindness and compassion are near the top of the list. The simple but powerful ‘Be nice’ advice makes for better adults and a better world.

This article looks at the best way to nurture the compassionate instincts of teenagers. The three year study of 400 teenagers in Spain looked at the way parents encouraged kindness in their teens.

Those teens whose parents used social means tended to end up as more empathetic. They were more inclined to help in a variety of situations.

On the other hand, teens whose parents encouraged empathy through rewards were less likely to help if they didn’t expect a reward.

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School must be fun, but why won’t my son talk about it?

(Séamas O’Reilly, The Guardian)

Starting school can be such an exciting time. The author knows that their son’s school day must be filled with fun experiences. But when when his parents ask about aspects of his new adventure, there is all but silence.

The response to every question is the same: Did you eat lunch? No. Did you sit at your desk? No. 

What is even more frustrating is that their son loves to talk. If he sees a bird, the author explains,‘he won’t shut up about it for weeks’. But school? Not so much.

His teachers have explained so many new faces and activities that cause a sort of a logjam in their heads, preventing them from sharing what’s happened in their day.

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