Best of the Web: When Your Youngest Starts School, Helping Young People Find Purpose, More than STEM, and Banning the Smartphone

Emotions when a child starts school, finding a purpose in life, and banning the smartphone.

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

Why I’m not sad my youngest child is starting school

(Suzi Catchpole, Essential Kids)

When the youngest child starts school, it’s a time of mixed emotions. The author notes her Facebook friends are sad – and she gets their bittersweet emotions. But that’s not her. Mainly, she’s incredibly happy her son is moving on to the next stage in life. The reasons range from the personal to the practical: she’ll be able to develop her own career and interests again, while holiday care won’t be such a problem.

Five Ways to Foster Purpose in Adolescents

(Kendall Cotton Bronk, Greater Good Magazine, Berkley)

For the past 15 years, the author has been researching young people’s purpose in life. She and her team have found two things. First, having a purpose delivers great benefits, from better health to life satisfaction. Second, having a sense of purpose is a rare thing. She offers suggestions for helping young people discover a direction in life, including telling them about your own purpose in life.

The surprising thing that Google learned about its employees – and what it means for today’s students

(Valerie Strauss, Cathy N. Davidson, The Washington Post)

We have, time and time again, been reminded that a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is the key to workforce success. Well, maybe not entirely. Google initially sought out top tech students for its workforce. Then it crunched the data on the performance of its workers. The most important skills of its top employees were soft skills: being a good coach, and communicating and listening well among them.

Is it time to ban children from using smartphones?

(Julian Baggini, The Guardian)

They are addictive, and have a proven link to disrupted sleep, depression, low self-esteem and attempted suicide. Would you allow your child to have one? This is the introduction to a well-constructed argument that raises the possibility of banning the smartphone for children. The author, a philosopher, builds a strong case, and asks whether we should consider ‘dumber phones’ for children, with basic features, such as maps and a camera.

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