PARENTING & Multiple research confirms the danger of too much of the wrong type of screen time.

“Screen Time Guilt During the Pandemic?” by Laura Wheatman Hull, JSTOR Daily, 9/10/20.

Moving Beyond Screen Time: Redefining Developmentally Appropriate Technology Use in Early Childhood Education by Lindsay Daugherty, Rafiq Dossani, Erin-Elizabeth Johnson and Cameron Wright, outlines some of the “potential pitfalls” of screen time. Research indicates that “technology use in ECE may have a negative effect on the development of social and gross motor skills, contribute to obesity, and diminish skill development in areas beyond digital literacy.” Too much passive screen time is harmful for little kids’ development.

Regarding teenagers, the headline of an article from the 2015 British Medical Journal by Nigel Hawkes says it all, “Every hour of daily screen time knocks two grades off teenagers’ exam time, study shows.” We want our kids to be smart, to perform well, so limiting screen time seems an easy way to do it. Go outside, read a book, problem solve with peers, do hands-on projects. “Experiential learning” is an expression used often in education, especially at the middle school level. Getting into the world to learn something is more effective than watching a show about it, no doubt.Memes glibly tease parents who rely on screens, telling them that the best thing kids can do right now is pick up a book.

…Yet, pediatricians are STILL urging parents to avoid too much media. A news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics came out at the beginning of the shut downs on March 17, 2020. It is entitled, “Finding Ways to Keep Children Occupied During These Challenging Times” and the main thesis is that parents should find “creative ways” (read: screen-free) to keep kids busy. They say, “the AAP urges parents to preserve offline experiences.” Memes glibly tease parents who rely on screens, telling them that the best thing kids can do right now is pick up a book. The AAP article does acknowledge that “kids’ screen media time will likely increase,” but wants parents to monitor content closely and try to make the content as meaningful as possible. Sounds lovely, but parents may be overwhelmed with trying to manage media and everything else. More likely, parents are letting go of strict screen-time rules and feeling guilty about it.

If history reminds us that, once upon a time, people believed reading books was a bad habit, history will perhaps see “screen time” the same way in future generations. Anna North imagines, “In 50 years, maybe we’ll be lamenting our failure to read enough Internet.” In Moving Beyond Screen Time, the authors explain that digital literacy is an important skill. They say it “plays an important role in the child’s ability to exceed in school and beyond.” The authors argue that it’s not how much screen time a child receives, but what kind. Focused, educational screen time, whether it be shows, apps, or games, is beneficial to kids’ knowledge base and ability to succeed in a technology-driven world.

…Instead of asking parents to, as the AAP says, “Consider what offline activities are enjoyable for your family. Help other families by sharing those ideas,” pediatricians and teachers should focus on helping educate parents on where to turn to get quality screen time. Several school districts got access to apps such as ABCMouse, DreamBox, and Lexia to help students learn through playing video games during distance learning. Furthermore, turning on a fairy tale movie for your kid while you have a Zoom meeting is fine. Parents should let go of the pressure to print worksheets and be a teacher while they’re also doing whatever else it is they do as an adult. Even better than turning on a movie and letting go of the guilt is if parents talk about what the kids watched. Talk about story structure, morality, characters. Talk about artistic style, acting skills, and music. Film as literature is a legitimate form of education. Digital literacy is a valid form of literacy.

Read more at … https://daily.jstor.org/screen-time-guilt-during-the-pandemic/

PARENTING & How to teach kids humility (and to understand it ourselves)

by Laura Hanby Hudgins, Aleteia, 7/19/19.

…C.S. Lewis defined humility as “… not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.”

  • Teach gratitude. Perhaps the best way to teach the virtue of humility is to foster in our children a deep sense of gratitude, first to God for all His blessings, but also to the people (parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches) who help cultivate the gifts He has given us…
  • Teach kids to know themselves. Sometimes as parents we think it is our job to tell our children they can do anything they want to do and be anything they want to be. But St. Augustine described humility as knowing the truth about oneself. This doesn’t mean squashing our kids’ dreams our discouraging their goals. But it does mean helping them to take a realistic look at where their gifts and talents lie, where they need to put in extra work, and even where they might be wasting their time. It also means gently helping them recognize, not only their own limitations, but also their flaws and faults — not so they can give up, but so that they can work to improve and to grow in whatever habits or virtues they need to develop.
  • Reject the cockiness culture. Not only is humility a virtue, but pride is actually considered one of the seven deadly sins (the sins that lead to all others). Yet, walk through any middle school in America, and unless the kids are required to wear a uniform, many of them will likely be wearing t-shirts boldly proclaiming their own greatness with sayings like You Can’t Spell AWESOME Without ME; Not Braggin’ Just Swaggin’; and THIS Is What a Winner Looks Like. These trendy tees might be fun and seem harmless enough, but could they be promoting a culture of cockiness that is further reinforced by many of our kids’ favorite athletes and celebrities?…

  • Be willing to go unnoticed. This is a tough one. No one likes to go unnoticed for an achievement. Maybe we can start by teaching our kids that it’s okay to go unnoticed in a conversation. They don’t always have to tell a funnier joke, one-up a friend’s really cool story, or have the last word in an argument. It’s okay sometimes to just listen…
  • Look for the gifts of others... Sometimes as parents we get so caught up in telling our kids how awesome they are, we fail to help them see the awesomeness of others. Start by talking about what you appreciate and admire in your own friends, and encourage your kids to look for what is noteworthy and admirable about their friends too.
  • Pray. There’s an old joke that it is a bad idea to pray for humility because the last thing you want is to be humbled by God. There may be some truth in that, but often life has a way of humbling us whether we’ve prayed for it or not. It is far better for any of us to be humbled by our Loving Father than by our peers, or worse, our enemies. Praying a prayer for humility is a beautiful way to help every family member grow in this all-important virtue.

Read more at … https://aleteia.org/2019/07/19/6-tricks-to-teach-kids-humility-and-to-understand-it-ourselves/

PARENTING & Bending without breaking: What new research is saying about effective religious parenting strategies = balance + faith. #ARDA

by David Briggs, The Association of Religious Data Archives, 3/12/19.

“…Religious firmness integrated with religious flexibility is more likely to result in a balanced, healthy style of religious parenting,” concluded scholars analyzing more than 8,000 pages of in-depth interviews with 198 Christian, Jewish and Muslim couples from 17 states.

A great deal of research has shown parents’ faith can have a positive impact on their children in areas from mental health to developing healthy relationships to being less likely to smoke, take illegal drugs or abuse alcohol.

Some examples from the new research include:

Secrets and lies: Researchers analyzing data from the second wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion found that adolescents who attend religious services more often are less likely to keep secrets from parents. Further, youth who believe that religion is important are both less likely to lie to parents and keep secrets from parents. Key reasons: More religious adolescents were less likely to use alcohol, to have peers who use drugs or drink heavily and to have lower standards of morality – all factors in the likelihood of lying and keeping secrets.

Sex, faith and college students: A study of undergrads at a large public university in the mid-Atlantic suggested that students from families that were likely to pray and talk about their faith together were less likely to have had sex. Greater parental oversight was associated with a decreased likelihood of ever having unprotected sex. And students who were more religious had a lower likelihood of engaging in any sexual activity, and a higher likelihood of condom use when they did. 

Daddy’s home: A study analyzing data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study found evidence suggesting that taking paternity leave, and longer periods of leave, is linked to more frequent father involvement and lower parental conflict among fathers who attend religious services frequently. Fathers who take leave and attend religious services weekly engage with their child about one-half day per week more frequently than fathers who do not take leave.

But not all the outcomes are positive.

Read more at … http://blogs.thearda.com/trend/uncategorized/bending-without-breaking-what-new-research-is-saying-about-effective-religious-parenting-strategies/

PESERVANCE & How to Develop “Grit” in Your Kids: 3 Rules by #UPenn #psychologist #AngelaDuckworth

“A UPenn psychologist uses the ‘Hard Thing Rule’ to teach her kids to take control of their success” by Shana Lebowitz, Business Insider Magazine, 5/8/16.

…Angela Duckworth, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania whose new book, “Grit,” offers research and anecdotal evidence on how passion and perseverance lead to success.

Towards the end of the book, Duckworth gives readers a glimpse into how she applies her findings on grit in her own life, specifically with her two daughters…

The Hard Thing Rule has three parts:

1. Everyone in the family has to do something that’s hard.

Specifically, Duckworth said, it has to be “something that requires practice, something where you’re going to get feedback telling you how you can get better, and you’re going to get right back in there and try again and again.”

2. You have to finish what you start.

“…Or if I’ve paid the tuition for your set of piano lessons, you’re going to take all those lessons and you are, as you promised your teacher, going to practice for those lessons.”

3. No one gets to pick the hard rule for anyone else.

“Even when my kids were five [and] six years old,” Duckworth said, “they were given some choice in what their hard thing was.”

“I think it’s very important to send the message that, while parents are needed to remind you to practice and occasionally force you to finish things … they also need to learn to respect you. You as an individual ultimately are the captain of where you’re going…”

The point is for parents to help their kids find something they’re interested in and then help grow that interest, while at the same time modeling grit and showing how far it can take you.

Read more at … http://www.businessinsider.com/angela-duckworth-the-hard-thing-rule-2016-5

PARENTING & Research Uncovers the Distinct, Positive Impact of a Good Dad

by Bradford Wilcox, The Atlantic Monthly, 11/30/15.

How fathers contribute to their kids’ lives. Are dads dispensable? A lot of scholars and writers weighing in on fatherhood these days have come to the conclusion that they are.… There is a growing body of research suggesting that man bring much more to the parenting enterprise than money… (read their unique contributions in this The Atlantic Monthly article):

…There are at least four ways, spelled out in my new book, Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Scientific Perspectives (co-edited with Kathleen Kovner Kline), that today’s dads tend to make distinctive contributions to their children’s lives:

The Power of Play: “In infants and toddlers, fathers’ hallmark style of interaction is physical play that is characterized by arousal, excitement, and unpredictability,” writes psychologist Ross Parke

Encouraging risk: In their approach to childrearing, fathers are more likely to encourage their children to take risks, embrace challenges, and be independent, whereas mothers are more likely to focus on their children’s safety and emotional well-being. “[F]athers play a particularly important role in the development of children’s openness to the world,” writes psychologist Daniel Paquette. “[T]hey also tend to encourage children to take risks, while at the same time ensuring the latter’s safety and security, thus permitting children to learn to be braver in unfamiliar situations, as well as to stand up for themselves.”

Protecting his own: Fathers play an important role in protecting their children from threats in the larger environment. For instance, fathers who are engaged in their children’s lives can better monitor their children’s comings and goings, as well as the peers and adults in their children’s lives, compared to disengaged or absent fathers. Of course, mothers can do this, to an extent. But fathers, by dint of their size, strength, or aggressive public presence, appear to be more successful in keeping predators and bad peer influences away from their sons and daughters. As psychologist Rob Palkovitz notes in our book, “paternal absence has been cited by multiple scholars as the single greatest risk factor in teen pregnancy for girls.”

Dad’s discipline: Although mothers typically discipline their children more often than do fathers, dads’ disciplinary style is distinctive. In surveying the research on gender and parenthood for our book, Palkovitz observes that fathers tend to be firmer with their children, compared to mothers. Based on their extensive clinical experience, and a longitudinal study of 17 stay-at-home fathers, Kyle Pruett and psychologist Marsha Kline Pruett agree. In Partnership Parenting they write, “Fathers tend to be more willing than mothers to confront their children and enforce discipline, leaving their children with the impression that they in fact have more authority.” By contrast, mothers are more likely to reason with their children, to be flexible in disciplinary situations, and to rely on their emotional ties to a child to encourage her to behave. In their view, mothers and fathers working together as co-parents offer a diverse yet balanced approach to discipline…”

Read it on theatlantic.com

PARENTING & 1965-2011 Moms & Dads Roles Converge, but Gap Remains #PewResearch

SDT-2013-03-Modern-Parenthood-01The way mothers and fathers spend their time has changed dramatically in the past half century. Dads are doing more housework and child care; moms more paid work outside the home. Neither has overtaken the other in their “traditional” realms, but their roles are converging, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of long-term data on time use.

At the same time, roughly equal shares of working mothers and fathers report in a new Pew Research Center survey feeling stressed about juggling work and family life: 56% of working moms and 50% of working dads say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance these responsibilities.

Still, there are important gender role differences. While a nearly equal share of mothers and fathers say they wish they could be at home raising their children rather than working, dads are much more likely than moms to say they want to work full time. And when it comes to what they value most in a job, working fathers place more importance on having a high-paying job, while working mothers are more concerned with having a flexible schedule.1

Read more at … http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/03/14/modern-parenthood-roles-of-moms-and-dads-converge-as-they-balance-work-and-family/

PARENTING & Growing Number of Dads Home With Kids #PewResearch

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “In your sermon this Father’s Day reach out to this increasing segment of fathers. Use these demographics to craft a Father’s Day sermon so that you will help the growing number of fathers that are serving their children as their stay-at-home caregiver. Sometimes the church assumes that the traditional family make up will persist, when actually the demographics are changing as this InfoGraphic from Pew Research demonstrates.”

Rising Number of Stay-at-Home DadsbyGRETCHEN LIVINGSTON

“The number of fathers who are at home with their children for any reason has nearly doubled since 1989, when 1.1 million were in this category.2 It reached its highest point—2.2 million—in 2010, just after the official end of the recession, which spanned from 2007 to 2009. Since that time, the number has fallen slightly, driven mainly by declines in unemployment, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.3

Read more at … http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/06/05/growing-number-of-dads-home-with-the-kids/

SPECIAL NEEDS & Talking to Children About Their Disabilities, With Metaphors and Minecraft #NYTimes

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Physically challenged people comprise one of the most underserved cultures of our faith communities. This article gives practical ideas regarding how to welcome them into our Christian fellowship and lives. Ministry to these individuals and their support networks is a critical cultural outreach that the church must face head on.”

by Sarah Wheeler, 5/13/14

Read more at … http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/13/talking-to-children-about-their-disabilities-with-metaphors-and-minecraft/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

PARENTHOOD & Six Ways Single Christians Can Help the Orphans

by Jamie Calloway-Hanauer, Christianity Today, 4/28/14

“You don’t have to be a parent to care for children in need.”

Six Ways Single Christians Can Help the Orphans

“While much attention has been given to the work of international adoption and setting up in-country orphan care overseas, we also have approximately 400,000 children in foster care in this country. The Christian Alliance for Orphans calls them “social orphans,” noting that during the time children are in foster care they are without the support, protection, and provision of their biological parents…

By focusing locally, Christians—no matter their marital, financial, or educational status—can serve the orphans who live among and perhaps even become a regular and stable part of these children’s lives…”

Read more at … http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2014/april/six-ways-single-christians-can-help-orphans.html

FAMILIES & Why I Tell My Employees to Bring Their Kids to Work #HarvardBusinessReview

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Churches will learn that by accommodating the children of employees on special occasions they can not only increase employee satisfaction but also dedication. Read this intriguing story how a Silicon Valley CEO created a stronger team by accommodating as needed the children of employees.”

ARTICLE by Sabrina Parsons,Harvard Biz Review

Read more at … http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/04/why-i-tell-my-employees-to-bring-their-kids-to-work/

PARENTHOOD & Cost of child care may explain recent increase in stay-at-home moms

Rising cost of child care may help explain recent increase in stay-at-home moms
by Drew Desilver, Pew Research

After Decades of Decline, a Rising Share of Stay-at-Home MothersRead more at … http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/08/rising-cost-of-child-care-may-help-explain-increase-in-stay-at-home-moms/

And at … http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/04/08/after-decades-of-decline-a-rise-in-stay-at-home-mothers/

FAMILY & Does Having Children Make Parents More Active Churchgoers?

Does Having Children Make Parents More Active Churchgoers?
by The Barna Group, 5/4/10

“How does having a child change a parent’s level of church involvement?”  This question was explored in a new research study, conducted by the Barna Group in partnership with Orange, a division of the reThink Group. The nationwide study conducted among nearly 700 parents of children under the age of 18 asked respondents to describe how having children affected their connection to a church or faith community.

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Read more at … https://www.barna.org/family-kids-articles/391-does-having-children-make-parents-more-active-churchgoers

LEADERSHIP

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The Effort Effect: According to a Stanford psychologist, you’ll reach new heights if you learn to embrace the occasional tumble, by Marina Krakovsky

“Dweck’s students from over the years describe her as a generous, nurturing mentor. She’d surely attribute these traits not to an innate gift, but to a highly developed mind-set. “Just being aware of the growth mind-set, and studying it and writing about it, I feel compelled to live it and to benefit from it,” says Dweck, who took up piano as an adult and learned to speak Italian in her 50s. “These are things that adults are not supposed to be good at learning.”

Read more at … http://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=32124

LEADERSHIP & Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset: Which One Are You?

Here is an excerpt from an article about Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University:

Through more than three decades of systematic research, [Carol Dweck] has been figuring out answers to why some people achieve their potential while equally talented others don’t—why some become Muhammad Ali and others Mike Tyson. The key, she found, isn’t ability; it’s whether you look at ability as something inherent that needs to be demonstrated or as something that can be developed.

Michael Graham Richard gives an overview of Carol Dweck’s comparison of how your mindset affects your parenting and your leadership.

Read more at … http://michaelgr.com/2007/04/15/fixed-mindset-vs-growth-mindset-which-one-are-you/