Best of the Web: The best musical instrument for your child, and more

Which musical instrument is best for your child, do sick days equal screen time, and a fierce new season of a podcast.

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

Which musical instrument should your child learn?

(Dr Anita Collins, ABC Education)

Parents will always have questions about their children and what is best regarding their education. And it’s no different when it comes to musical instruments.

As research brings a deeper understanding of the impact of music on brain development, it’s also leading to more questions, writes the author. ‘A very common question I get asked is: which instrument is the best one to learn for my child’s cognitive development?’

While research has found that some instruments have different impacts cognitively, there isn’t a stand-out instrument.

More importantly, ‘it’s a child’s connection to the instrument — along with a great deal of encouragement, humour and problem-solving from their music teacher — that will support them through the work of learning how to play an instrument,’ writes the author.

Read the full article

If your kid is home sick from school, is unlimited screen time OK?

(Jordy Kaufman, Jennifer M. Zosh, The Conversation)

Your child is home from school unwell. Do you do as your parents most likely did and set them up in front of a screen, or do you find something else for them to do?

The article highlights that while screen time may offer entertainment and distraction for sick children, there are considerations to be mindful of. The authors, child development researchers specialising in child-technology interaction, emphasise the importance of balancing screen usage and other activities. They say, ‘Finding the sweet spot is essential to your child’s overall well-being.’

In a time where screens are an inevitable part of our lives, we also need to be wary of accidentally teaching our children that ‘digital consumption is the go-to method for coping with illness-related discomfort or boredom,’ they write. Of course, the type of sick day activity you suggest will be illness-dependent, but alternatives to screen time – or limits to screen time – should be considered.

If screens cannot be escaped, the authors suggest ‘it might be easier to relax while watching a favourite movie rather than continuously watching new YouTube videos that change every five minutes.’

Read the full article

Fierce Girls

(ABC Radio)

Fierce Girls is an empowering podcast produced by the ABC for young people, telling the stories of extraordinary Australian women.

The first five episodes of season ten are out now and spotlight the impactful stories of women like Australian of the Year and body positivity advocate Taryn Brumfitt, Robogals founder and women in STEM pioneer Marita Cheng, the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup, Michelle Payne, and a little-known Chinese Australian diplomat who challenged the White Australia policy in the early 20th century.

The second half of the season will be out on October 11, to mark International Day of the Girl.

The podcasts make for inspiring listening, with subjects spanning the worlds of sports, medicine, teaching and arts.

Like this post? Please share using the buttons on this page.

Listen to the podcast
Sign up for our newsletter