This week’s parenting news brings tips for talking with children about emotions; a long-term study showing why that’s a good idea; cool playgrounds; creative things to make and do; and an article to spark a discussion with your teen about sleep.
Have you seen Inside Out yet? Since its release last month it’s become known as the adult movie disguised as a kids’ movie. And it’s an ideal starting point for conversations with children about their emotions. Here are four conversation starters, from the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California, Berkeley.
If you can’t stand the heat, you can get outdoors with the kids anyway. Red Tricycle has scouted out the coolest places to play throughout the Washington area and tells you what’s most fun about them.
Looking for boredom busters? Here’s a list of books and other resources with projects from homemade silly putty to a Hobbit treehouse, compiled by Jessica Lahey and her son, at The New York Times Motherlode.
Social and emotional skills — not intellectual skills — are the most important predictors of success, according to a study that followed nearly 800 children from kindergarten into young adulthood, just published in the American Journal of Public Health. You can read the results in The Washington Post and listen to a discussion of the implications on NPR. “The optimistic thing about this research,” says NPR’s Shankar Vedantam, “is that it looks like many of these skills actually can be taught and learned and developed.” And parents can learn exactly how to do that in PEP classes and workshops such as “Teaching Self-Regulation Through Emotion Coaching,” August 13.
Teens typically think that going to bed at midnight or 1 a.m. and getting up to catch the 6:45 a.m. bus for school will give them enough sleep. Besides, they can make up sleep on weekends. “But the professional literature on the sleep needs of adolescents says otherwise,” writes Jane Brody in her Personal Health column at The New York Times. Take advantage of the slower summer pace to talk with your teen about the risks of sleep deprivation and brainstorm ideas to counteract the cultural pressure to get by on way too little sleep. For help with this and other ways you’d like to influence your teen’s thinking, come to PEP’s workshop Moving Beyond Grunts, Shrugs & “I Dunno”: Communicating with Teens, next Tuesday, July 21.
Compiled by the PEP Blog editor.