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Wednesday, 1 Apr 2020
Category: Raising Kids

Mums and dads, don’t ignore the early signs of autism

When a newborn joins a family we become beguiled by the perfection of this wondrous new being. Any hint of difference is easily overlooked during the early years. We now understand that the onset of symptoms of autism spectrum disorders is variable during the first two years of life. Signs are evident in some children from birth, […]

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Understanding emotions is nearly as important as IQ for students’ academic success

The ability to understand emotions contributes almost as much to students’ grades as their IQ. Past studies show two personal qualities are important for student academic success – intelligence and conscientiousness. IQ scores explain about 15% of the differences between students’ grades. Conscientiousness, such as having the diligence to do enough study, explains about 5%. Our recent research has found […]

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3 ways to help children think critically about the news

Like adults, children use the news to learn about what’s happening in the world. But the circulation of misinformation, such as the recent spread of fake news about COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus), blurs our understanding of events and issues. In 2017, we conducted the first nationally representative survey of how Australian children, aged eight to 16, […]

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Expanding the definition of family to reflect our realities

The second Monday in February is Family Day in parts of Canada. Started in Alberta in 1990, four additional provinces celebrate Family Day: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick. (Other provinces have holidays reflecting their heritage.) Québec is one of few jurisdictions that does not have a civic holiday in February, though the province has generous […]

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When love and attention just aren’t enough

“How much more love and affection can I give him? …. Because once you pee on your brother, you’ve gone too far, and we have to fix this now.” What’s a parent to do when a child acts out in a big way, like peeing on the baby?  We can understand the toddler’s jealousy, but […]

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Kids need to take risks: Mum and Dad will just have to deal with it

We take an “efficiency” approach to childhood and child-rearing in Australia. We want kids to grow up and become productive economic citizens without them deviating from identified pathways, and society wants a return on its investment. We achieve policy goals by denying kids the opportunities to learn by trial and error, risk-taking, independent decision-making, problem […]

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How to Create Creative Kids

We gathered five experts in creative thinking (they’re all parents, too!) to share their best ideas and activities for sparking your child’s imagination. If the word creativity makes you think only of painting clouds, daydreaming, or writing experimental poetry, think again. “Creativity is one of the most important economic resources of the twenty-first century,” argues […]

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Parents, it’s never okay to hit your kids

Research published in the journal Pediatrics confirms what child advocates have long known: it’s never okay to hit children. Study author Tracie Afifi and her colleagues investigated the link between children being hit, pushed and shoved, and the development of psychological problems later in life. They found that harsh physical punishment was associated with depression, anxiety, substance […]

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Time for an end to parental tough love

Picture this: you’re standing in a long, slow-moving queue. People around you are disgruntled and complaining. You turn to talk with the person behind you and someone else jumps the queue in front of you. Is it okay to slap him or her – not to hurt them – just to give a clear message […]

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