Educators have switched from preaching to kids about environmental degradation to using hands-on lessons to get K-12 students not only interested in the world’s environmental priorities, but also actively participating in solutions, maybe even seeking out related careers.
“You hope students can translate passion into intellectual curiosity on these subjects and develop the expertise so they can go beyond being an activist to being an advocate,” says Kenneth Walz, Ph.D., (read more…)
Celebrating classic holiday traditions the same way we always have—and maybe the way our parents and grandparents did—is part of the rich family heritage we pass on to our children. These family rituals are binding, grounding, memorable and much more, says Saul Levine, M.D., professor emeritus in psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. (read more…)
This Thanksgiving, there’s something to be especially thankful for—gratitude itself. Emerging research shows gratitude to be one of the easiest, most effective ways to kickstart happiness and well-being. “The good news about gratitude is that it is one of the more growable character strengths—and it’s never too late,” says Giacomo Bono, Ph.D., an assistant professor at California State University, in Dominguez Hills, and co-author of Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character. (read more…)
“When I feel like I really want to get angry and yell, I sometimes, like, take deep breaths. My brain slows down and I feel more calm and I’m ready to speak to that person.” Those self-aware words come from a 5-year-old Los Angeles girl in the film Just Breathe.
A 9-year-old boy in a tough British neighborhood forgets about “all the scary stuff” when he does “petal breathing”—opening and closing his fingers in time with his breath. “If I concentrate on my breathing, the worrying thoughts just go ‘pop’ and disappear,” he confided to The Guardian newspaper. (read more…)
A 10-Step Guide for Helping Children Thrive
It’s not easy raising children in today’s media-saturated landscape. From TV and video games to internet and mobile devices, our kids are exposed to a steady stream of persuasive marketing messages promoting low-nutrient junk foods. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association warn that media’s pervasive influence over children’s food preferences increase their risk for (read more…)
Preparing Kids for the Future
Today’s children have more opportunities to change the world than ever before. Teenagers are organizing global activism movements, LEGO lovers are mastering robotics and young entrepreneurs are launching successful businesses before they’re old enough to drive. (read more…)
Why Kids Need Unstructured Fun
Not so long ago, kids would be shooed out the door to play and told to return home at meal time. But the rising use of digital devices and kids’ highly scheduled sports and school activities, as well as parental fears about safety, has made that kind of unstructured play rare—with resulting drops in children’s independence, resilience and creativity, experts say. (read more…)
Trading Clutter for Calm
When Denaye Barahona, of New York City, became a parent, she felt compelled to buy everything for her son. “We are inundated as a culture with so many products for our kids that it’s hard to differentiate what we need; it really wears us down,” she says. (read more…)
The Fun of Growing Their Own
It’s May, and the temperature is rising, as is the sap and green shoots. It’s the perfect time to involve kids in growing their own garden that will get them outdoors, teach them planning and perseverance, and develop their motor, literacy and scientific skills.
A South Korean study found that gardening provides both high- and moderate-intensity exercise for kids. It builds good eating habits, too: A British study of 46 9- and 10-year-olds found (read more…)
Tips to Help Children Breathe Easier
For one in seven U.S. children, spring brings the start of seasonal allergies that can last through the fall. Seasonal allergies such as hay fever and allergic rhinitis occur when an airborne allergen comes into contact with nasal membranes, triggering the release of inflammatory histamines. The result can be sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, coughing and runny nose. While not life threatening, these symptoms tend to interrupt a youngster’s sleep, weaken concentration and keep him or her from participating fully in play and school. (read more…)
Outdoor Adventures for Kids
Getting kids off the couch and into the great outdoors can be a challenge when they tend to be better acquainted with the popular Angry Birds video game characters than with the real warbling ones. Unfortunately, studies show that digital devices, parental work overload and media-stoked fears of the outside world are currently making our kids nature-deprived. (read more…)
Keeping the Homefront Allergy-Free
An allergy is a dramatic overreaction of the immune system to environmental agents that are harmless to most people. Antibodies fight allergens with the release of histamines, and a runny nose, (read more…)
Natural Remedies Restore Calm
Kids and teens have always had plenty to be stressed about, such as family finances, parental bickering, the birth of a sibling and other challenges on the home front. Then there are the age-old tensions of taking school exams and squabbles with friends and other classmates. (read more…)
A Promising Approach to Healing
With the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on the rise—now affecting one in every 59 school-age children, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) —identifying effective, integrative remedies is more important than ever. (read more…)
Gifts that Evoke Kids’ Creativity
Choosing thoughtful gifts for kids can be a challenge, especially when opting for creativity over this year’s hot toy. It’s possible to find gifts that appeal to both parent and child, involving the whole family or working as solo projects. Some expand beyond the boundaries of home. (read more…)
Reversing a Rising Tide of Chronic Conditions
The statistics are startling—as many as a quarter to one half of American children now have a diagnosed chronic condition, according to studies that include one in Academic Pediatrics that includes obesity. Over the last few decades, the number of children with asthma has tripled to affect one in eight; those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have doubled to one in 10; and autism diagnoses have increased at least 10-fold, to affect one in 50 (one in 31 boys). (read more…)
How to Power Up Their Defenses
Strong immunity is a cornerstone of optimum health, and may be weakened or enhanced by what we eat and how we manage our emotions. Starting young in incorporating good ongoing habits can go a long way toward building a better immune response to whatever a person encounters.