Do you believe that kids are overprogrammed with structured activities — not enough time for daydreaming, not enough time for experimenting?
Well, here’s a site that might encourage parent-and-child experimenting on do-it-yourself projects. Sounds like it could be rewarding in a variety of ways (collaborating with parents, nurturing creativity, building confidence and independence).
The NY Times writes that a couple who do home improvement got an idea for projects that might interest children.
They “developed Built by Kids (builtbykids.com), a Web site devoted to do-it-yourself projects that parents and children can collaborate on, like herb gardens planted in a wheelbarrow, refurbished tatami tables and handmade wagons. The tasks were tested and refined during a series of daylong workshops with friends at the couple’s Los Angeles bungalow.
“Their intention is to revive some of the backyard know-how that children had before the distractions of television, video games and other off-the-shelf entertainment, [founder Timothy] Dahl said. The do-it-yourself movement is enjoying a long, fashionable run as an alternative to consumer culture, he added, but when children are involved, the results are ‘too often dismissed as disposable “crafts.” ‘ “ Read more. Try a project.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged baby, baby care, dual language, father, infant, language, mother, multilingual, pacific standard, parent, parenting on April 26, 2012 |
7 Comments »
It says here, at Pacific Standard, that learning a second language translates into clearer thinking. No surprises there, but good to have evidence.
In Providence this week, a certain baby I know is showing an affinity for more than one language. His mother thinks he finds his father’s Swedish soothing, especially when sung in a low voice.
While the baby is tuning in to Swedish and English, his parents are studying a language called Basic Baby. It’s the world’s oldest language. In its simplest form, it involves crying: “You’re doing this wrong — try a different tack.” Or silence: “You’re doing this right.” At higher levels, it gets more complex. For example, you may be doing something right, but there is still crying: “This digestive business feels totally weird.”
Basic Baby is not too hard to learn if you (a) pay attention, (b) realize that you will figure it out eventually. It was your own first language. If you are rusty, maybe you just need to bone up a bit.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged babies, child, early childhood, harvard, jack shonkoff, nicholas kristof, parent, parenting, pediatrician, poverty on January 9, 2012 |
5 Comments »
Nicholas Kristof wrote recently about a new ” ‘poverty statement’ from the premier association of pediatricians, based on two decades of scientific research.” It ties early childhood stress to persistent poverty.
In his NY Times column “A Poverty Solution that Starts with a Hug,” Kristof says of stressed children, “Toxic stress might arise from parental abuse of alcohol or drugs. … It might derive from chronic neglect — a child cries without being cuddled. Affection seems to defuse toxic stress — keep those hugs and lullabies coming! — suggesting that the stress emerges when a child senses persistent threats but no protector. … The crucial period seems to be from conception through early childhood. After that, the brain is less pliable and has trouble being remolded.
“ ‘You can modify behavior later, but you can’t rewire disrupted brain circuits,’ notes Jack P. Shonkoff, a Harvard pediatrician who has been a leader in this field. ‘We’re beginning to get a pretty compelling biological model of why kids who have experienced adversity have trouble learning.’ ”
Lest this is striking too dark a note for Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog, I hasten to point out that identifying a problem is the first step to fixing it. As a proponent of both hugs and poverty alleviation, I was really happy to see this addressed! And Kristof’s mention of the stress hormone cortisol jumped out at me because I hadn’t heard about it until I saw the research in yesterday’s post, which suggested that a pleasant phone conversation with Mom can reduce cortisol more effectively than instant messaging with Mom. (Or whoever reduces your stress.)
Read more. And do leave comments.
(I must look up that article from a few years ago about the Indian woman who stood on a street corner in New York and gave free hugs to long lines of people craving hugs.)
Read Full Post »