Best of the Web

Tips to deal with exam stress, how to enjoy being a parent, why breakfast is the new family mealtime, and more.

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


Most students are going through ‘worrying levels’ of exam stress. Here’s how to deal with it.

(Ange McCormack, Triple J Hack, ABC)

Two thirds of young people are experiencing ‘worrying levels’ of exam stress, and one in 10 are experiencing extreme stress, new research has found. The research, from the national youth mental health group ReachOut, also found only a third are seeking external help – but that’s an improvement of the 28 per cent two years ago. The organisation provides practical advice on how to deal with exam stress, including getting the basics right, such as sleep, diet and exercise. There’s also a handy ‘Exam Slaying Checklist’. You might also like Andrew Fuller’s post on dealing with exam stress on The Parents Website.


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'Put your phone away and be in the moment': how to enjoy being a parent

(Joanna Moorhead, The Guardian)

Could we go down in history as the generation that forgot to enjoy our kids? This is the challenging opening to an article that tackles the idea that unhappy, stressed parents are raising unhappy, stressed kids. But this isn’t just a lament – the author goes in search of a better way, where parents actually enjoy raising their children. She seeks the advice of experts, including Steve Biddulph, who declares: ‘Our children give us a connection right back into the juice and intensity of being alive. We’re creaking, dried-up worriers, and they are straight from the heart of life.’


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How family breakfasts became the new family dinner

(Belinda Luscombe, TIME)

There’s plenty of evidence that family mealtimes benefit everyone – a chance to come together and share over the breaking of bread. But that bread doesn’t have to be dinner rolls – it might as well be toast. Breakfast is emerging as the new go-to mealtime for some families leading hectic, disjointed lives. In the US, the Family Dinner Project, which encourages families to eat together, just launched an off-shoot – the Family Breakfast Project. There are challenges, such as people leaving home at different times. But family breakfasts work for many.


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Kids learn valuable life lessons through rough-and-tumble play with their dads

(Emily Freeman, The Conversation)

Play between a father and child can often be boisterous, physical and competitive. But it’s much more than just having fun. As the author notes, research shows it’s important for healthy child development, including pro-social behaviors, such as being considerate of others and sharing well. High-quality rough and tumble play is linked to nice children, who will have an easier time making friends. Of course, there’s also no reason mothers can’t play the same – the research has so far only looked at dads.

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