Best of the Web: How to Talk to Teenagers, Schools Teaching Social Skills, and is Uni Really Worth It?

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

(Michelle Lehnardt, TODAY Parents)

The author’s sons came home one day with a shared observation; ‘It’s amazing how many kids hate their parents!’ This led to an hour-long conversation, and more talks with other teenagers. The end result is the author’s checklist of how to keep communication going between parent and teenager. The list includes Not Listening, Criticising Excessively, and Fighting the Wrong Battles.

Being Popular: Why it Consumes Teens and Continues to Affect Adults

(Deborah Farmer Kris, Mind/Shift)

The desire to be popular and the teen years go hand in hand. And popularity is a good thing, right? Not all kinds of popularity are equal, according to Mitch Prinstein, a professor of psychology and author of Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World. This article explores Professor Prinstein’s theories about popularity, and why the kind linked to status can have long-term negative consequences.

Australian parents want schools to teach more social skills, survey finds

(Michael McGowan, The Guardian)

What do parents want schools to teach? This research from Monash University and the Australian Scholarship Groups says that increasingly, it’s much more than just the curriculum – parents are increasingly asking schools to help socialise their children. Almost two-thirds of parents surveyed argue schools should be teaching more social skills, while more than half want children to be taught how to ‘behave in public’.

Is going to university really worth it for most people?

(Tiger Webb, ABC)

There are increasing numbers of graduates, wages have stalled, and there is a long list of skills shortages.  Is a university degree really worth it?  This report poses the question and explores the different views about the value of tertiary education, both in a monetary and educational sense. Among the views canvassed: not all degrees are created equal when it comes to employability, and university prestige doesn’t necessarily matter.