Best of the Web: Teens Who Don’t Read Books, and more…

Concern over teenagers reading less, imagine a family life without devices, amd how to teach kids what news to trust.

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

Why it matters that teens are reading less

(Jean Twenge, The Conversation)

The author has been one of the leading academic voices to raise the alarm about the impact of digital technology on young people, and the link to declining mental health. This article reports on her latest research, showing an alarming fall in young people reading traditional media, such as books, newspapers and magazines in any form – print or digital. Teens are still reading, but it’s short texts and Instagram captions. You might also like our previous articles by the author: iGen: How the Smartphone has Affected an Entire Generation, and Why Apple Should Make the i-Phone Kid-Friendly.

We had to figure out who we were as a family without devices

(Sarah Berry, The Sydney Morning Herald)

The digital revolution hasn’t just affected young people – as this article explores, it’s family life as well. The Kirkwoods are a family of five who took part in an experiment in an attempt to connect less with their screens and more with each other. The biggest challenge of the two-week experiment, says mother Simone, was ‘hanging out together’ in the real world without the ability to escape into the virtual world. The Kirkwoods had to figure out who they were as a family without devices.

Spanking children makes them more aggressive, US pediatricians’ body says

(Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian)

There’s new guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics that children who are spanked by their parents are more likely to develop aggressive behaviors and are at an increased risk of mental health disorders. The academy also advised that parents should also avoid verbal abuse, which could cause ‘shame or humiliation’. Rather, parents should use positive reinforcement.

Teaching kids to be discerning consumers of breaking news

(Sierra Filucci, The Washington Post)

When a big news story happens, there’s a torrent of breaking news. But as this article points out, breaking news is often wrong. Reporters rushing to cover stories make mistakes, and officials often don’t have all the information. This is a handy guide to help teach kids how to sort the good from the bad. The advice includes the need to be sceptical, and the importance of relying on credible news sources.

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