Iceland Knows How to Stop Teen Substance Abuse – But the Rest of the World Isn’t Listening

By Emma Young, abc.net.au, January 24, 2017 It’s a little before three on a sunny Friday afternoon and Laugardalur Park, near central Reykjavik, looks practically deserted. There’s an occasional adult with a pushchair, but the park’s surrounded by apartment blocks and houses, and school’s out – so where are all the kids? Walking with me are Gudberg Jónsson, a local psychologist, and Harvey Milkman, an American psychology professor who teaches for part of the year at Reykjavik University. Twenty years ago, says Gudberg, Icelandic teens were among the heaviest-drinking youths in Europe. “You couldn’t walk the streets in downtown Reykjavik […]

The Scientists Who Make Apps Addictive

Tech companies use the insights of behaviour design to keep us returning to their products. But some of the psychologists who developed the science of persuasion are worried about how it is being used. By Ian Leslie, Economist, October/November 2016 In 1930, a psychologist at Harvard University called B.F. Skinner made a box and placed a hungry rat inside it. The box had a lever on one side. As the rat moved about it would accidentally knock the lever and, when it did so, a food pellet would drop into the box. After a rat had been put in the […]

Is Waldorf Education Christian

By William Ward Waldorf schools seek to cultivate positive human values of compassion, reverence for life, respect, cooperation, love of nature, interest in the world, and social conscience, as well as to develop cognitive, artistic and practical skills. The soul life of the child is affirmed and nourished as the ground for healthy, active thinking. Because of this, Waldorf schools sometimes are mistakenly perceived as religious, or, in particular, as Christian schools. Nevertheless, parents of various religious views and ethical philosophiesCatholics, Jews, Buddhists, Protestants, Sufis, Muslims, eclectic seekers, and agnostics-choose Waldorf Education for their children. They do so knowing that […]

How to Teach Your Kid to Eat Better

posted on FoodandWine.com No 10-year-old eats better than F&W Best New Chef Nate Appleman’s son. And that’s by design. Nate Appleman, former F&W Best New Chef and current VP of fast casual restaurants for OTG, loves cooking for his 10-year-old son. However, one thing that you’ll notice if you follow Appleman’s instagram account, where he documents his home cooking, is how diverse and well-rounded his family meals truly are. While many people probably assume that a 10-year-old would not be keen on foods like monkfish curry, kimchi pancakes or purple potatoes, Appleman sees things differently. “I don’t believe that kids don’t like certain things just because; […]

Growing Up in a False Reality

posted May 20, 2017 in PsychologyToday.com This guest post is by Cindy Eckard, a Maryland parent who has spearheaded legislation in her state to create medically-sound safety guidelines for the use of digital devices in public schools.  Many people are focused on reducing screen time for children; I’m one of those people. The health risks are enormous for our kids, in a variety of ways, from their vulnerable, undeveloped eyes to their growing bodies and minds. And while I am the first to advocate for schools and parents to limit the amount of time our children spend on digital devices, per se, I […]

Would you let a four-year-old light a fire? A safety group says you should

From The Telegraph, by Senav Boztas, 31 MARCH 2017 A safety organisation in the Netherlands is campaigning to encourage parents to let children play more dangerously. Dutch children are the happiest in the developed world according to UNICEF, but VeiligheidNL believes they are being “pampered”. The national safety body has launched a campaign called “Risky play”, saying children should be encouraged to play with penknives, climb trees and light fires – with appropriate supervision. It warns increasingly protective parents, schools and governments that children aren’t learning to manage risk for themselves – despite the fact that solo child cyclists are a regular sight on […]

Get Ready for the Next Big Privacy Backlash Against Facebook

From Wired.com, May 21, 2017 Facebook’s targeting of insecure teens could help usher in a new era in privacy protections Offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.” By Nitasha Tiku Data Mining is such a prosaic part of our online lives that it’s hard to sustain consumer interest in it, much less outrage. The modern condition means constantly clicking against our better judgement. We go to bed anxious about the surveillance apparatus lurking […]

Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids

From PsychologyToday.com, March 27, 2017 I really love middle school kids. I have two of them! If you have been through middle-school parenting, you may have noticed what I see: Strange things seem to happen to a tween’s brain the first day they walk into middle school. One might sum up their main goals in life this way: To be funny at all costs. (Hence, the silly bathroom jokes, talking at inappropriate times in class, and the “anything it takes to be popular” attitude.) To focus on SELF — their clothes, their nose, their body, and their hair. To try new […]

Kids Who Use Smartphones Start Talking Later

“Growing evidence suggests that screen time may have some negative consequences for young children’s development. In a new study of nearly 900 children between six months and two years old, researchers found that those who spent more time using handheld devices were more likely to have delays in expressive speech, compared to children who didn’t use the devices as much. For every 30 minutes of screen time, there was a 49% increased risk of expressive speech delay. The research, which was led by pediatricians at the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada, was presented at the annual meeting of the […]

The Educator as Artist

from WaldorfEducation.org Art teachers get to have fun. They teach through play, spread joy, and get their students’ creative juices flowing. While we may acknowledge, theoretically, that joy, creativity, and learning are related, the daily reality of teaching appears to leave less room for artistic values and persuasions. The common perception is such… art teachers inspire creative capacities; the rest of the faculty has more “serious” work to accomplish. However, as engaged teachers know, this is very far from the truth. Teachers, in all schools, find themselves as purveyors of the arts as they stand before their students. They work […]