Best of the Web

The problem of body dissatisfaction among boys, why music is good for children's brains, and the end of digital natives – our selection of thought-provoking and useful articles from around the web on educating and raising children.

Boys who are unhappy with their bodies are just as vulnerable as girls

(Andrew Trounson, Pursuit)

The serious problems caused for girls by body dissatisfaction have been well documented. But what about boys?  This article from the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit reports on a new Australian study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health that body dissatisfaction is also dangerous for boys. ‘When boys are unhappy with their bodies it impairs their quality of life to an equal degree as it does for girls,’ says lead researcher on the study, University of Melbourne psychologist Dr Scott Griffiths.

New study demonstrates the link between music and statistical learning

(Bridie Smith, The Age)

A new study has looked at the effects of learning music in childhood on auditory and visual skills. It found children exposed to at least a year and a half of private music lessons have an edge when it comes to detecting patterns in the world around us, with musical instrument training making their brains better at statistical learning.

How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After a Loss

(Sheryl Sandberg, The New York Times)

The life of the author and her two children changed dramatically and suddenly two years ago. Whilst on vacation with her husband Dave, he died suddenly from a cardiac arrest. Her biggest fear was her children’s happiness would be destroyed by their devastating loss. Her mission became finding out how children could persevere through adversity. This is a powerful article that explores resilience – ‘a muscle we can help kids build’.

Forget digital natives: here’s how kids are really using the internet

(Alexandra Samuel,

In 2001, we were divided into two groups – digital natives and digital immigrants. This was thanks to an education consultant who coined the terms. But as the author declares: ‘The era of the digital native is over.’ Samuel, a respected tech strategist, surveyed more than 10,000 North American parents on how they are managing their children’s technology. She came up with three types of young users: orphans, exiles and heirs.

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