Best of the Web: the Perils of a Teenage Daughter, Put Down your Phone, the Value of Chatting to Kids, and Compassion Lessons from a Crazed Seagull

The rollercoaster ride of parenting a teenage daughter, why screen use affects parenting, and the importance of how you talk to your child.

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

Raising a daughter? Handle with care – especially when she’s 14

(Elizabeth Egan, Chicago Tribune)

Just after their daughter was born, the author and her husband overheard a phone conversation between the doctor and her teenage daughter. It was a loud argument about what was for dinner. This was not going to be their daughter: ‘Surely this sweet, elfin, cashew-shaped bundle would never pick a fight with us about veal scallopini.’ Fourteen years on, they are immersed in the rollercoaster ride that is their daughter’s life. This is a touching account of the good, the bad and the downright confusing.

Want your children to behave? Put down your phone

(Bianca Wordley, Essential Kids)

There’s lots of angst these days about our children being glued to their screens. The debate has produced plenty of research, commentary, political debate and even a documentary, Screenagers.  So much for the kids. As this article points out, it’s screen use by parents that is also a cause for concern. It reports on a study that links overuse of screen by parents to poor behaviour by children.  The answer? Put the phone down and parent in the moment.

How you talk to your child changes their brain

(Sophie Hardach, Agenda, World Economic Forum)

The language environment of children can have a huge impact on their development. ISV’s Diane Bourke explored this in her post How 30 Million Words Can Fuel Your Child’s Brain. Now comes new research from cognitive scientists at MIT. While talking to your child helps development, it’s how you talk to your child that really matters for brain growth. It’s all about engaging them in ‘conversational turns’  – in other words, a good old chat.

I wanted to teach a lesson on compassion – and ended up with a crazed seagull in my car

(Kelly Dalton, The Washington Post)

This is a funny, charming personal account by a mother looking for opportunities to teach her two young sons compassion. This particular opportunity arrived in the form of a seagull with an injured wing, spotted by her 7-year-old. She jumped at the chance to do some good, even if it was ‘more a mangy airborne ocean rat than highflying Jonathan Livingston Seagull’. Things got interesting when the animal shelter asked them to bring the seagull in.

Like this post? Please share using the buttons located at the top of this page.

Subscribe to The Parents Website