Best of the Web

How to turn boys into good men, the power of showing up for our children, why the kids are alright, and more...

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

Every kid needs to feel seen – here are two ways you can do this

(Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson,

There’s strong evidence that one of the best predictors in how a child will turn out – everything from happiness, relationships and academic success – is having at least one adult in their life who consistently shows up for them. This compelling idea has resulted in a new book, The Power of Showing Up. Children need the Fours Ss: they need to feel Safe, Seen, Soothed and Secure. This excerpt from the book looks at how to make sure a child is seen.


We gave children smartphones. Did we rob them of an inner life?

(Johanna Leggatt, The Guardian)

This is a thoughtful opinion article that acknowledges both sides of the debate about the impact of smartphones on young people. But it argues persuasively that smartphones and a life lived constantly online are taking young people away from their inner world. A generation is being ‘denied the means with which to find out who they are, what they love or don’t love, what makes them feel alive’. We need to prioritise ‘alone time’ for teens.




‘Helicopter parenting’ and ‘tiger mothers’? Relax – Australian kids are alright

(Carla Pascoe Leahy, The Conversation)

Worrying about the kids of today takes up a lot of media time and discussion. As the author notes, ‘it would be easy to believe, if you pay attention to the media, that Australian children are in poor shape.’  While there might be some basis to the view, there’s reassurance that things aren’t that bad when you take an historical view. Since the 1960s, there have been surprising continuities – and some things have gotten better.



How strengthening relationships with boys can help them learn

(Deborah Farmer Kris, MindShift)

There’s an encouraging new frontier in the way we think about boys and boyhood, challenging the stereotypes about what it is to be male and the messages we send boys. Clinical psychologist Michael Reichert is at the forefront, with his new book How to Raise a Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men. He’s about moving away from ‘intractable myths’, such as ‘that’s just the nature of boys’. In this interview, he explains how we can help boys be themselves by strengthening their resilience.

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