Best of the Web: the School Readiness, and more

The sweet spot for starting school, letg kids deal with pain, and parents as the new bullies.

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

Searching for the school readiness sweet spot

(Madeleine Heffernan, The Age)

It’s a common question facing parents of young children: when are they ready to start prep? In Victoria, there’s a wide range in starting ages, creating choices for parents, with the number of older children starting prep rising for a decade. Some experts believe this flexibility means families and school teachers can work together to ensure each child can achieve their best.

The danger of always trying to protect kids from disappointment and shame

(Darlena Cunha, The Washington Post)

Feelings of disappointment are hard for everyone, but for young children they can be intolerable, especially if their parents, acting out of intense love, have protected them from negative feelings in the past. Instead, parents need to teach their children how to deal with disappointment, pain and loss.


Self-harm contagion effect among teenagers

(Kate Aubusson, The Age)

School counsellors and psychologists say they are seeing growing numbers of secondary school students self-harming, amid rising rates of mental health problems among youth. The increase might be due to a contagion effect – and it’s also probable that teenagers are more willing to talk about it than previous generations, teachers are better at detecting it, and research is getting better at capturing it.

The new school bullies aren’t children – they’re parents

(Melissa Fyfe and Henrietta Cook, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald)

Parents need to ‘chill’ – that’s the message coming loud and clear from the nation’s educators, as they face a crisis level of bullying, threats and abuse from parents. One in three principals has been threatened with violence by a parent, according to a nationwide snapshot of principal health and wellbeing. This makes mums and dads the biggest bullies in the schoolyard.


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