How missing out on nursery due to COVID has affected children’s development – new research

How missing out on nursery due to COVID has affected children’s development – new research

Nurseries can be noisy places. A clutch of three-year-olds gathered round a book shout excitedly. Across the room, a small committee of toddlers negotiates over stickers and string. Outside, key workers encourage pairs of miniature gymnasts while others sing to drowsy babies. And through the cacophony, children’s use of language develops.

For parents collecting their children, the chatter and buzz of childcare settings is always reassuring. All the more so during the pandemic: another day of play and learning is done, with protective measures in place.

Parents are understandably anxious about how the pandemic has affected their pre-schoolers’ development. More than half of the 570 parents surveyed for a recent Sutton Trust report felt that their two-to-four year-olds’ social and emotional development had been negatively affected during the pandemic. A quarter of these parents felt their child’s language growth in particular had suffered. One in five had similar concerns about their physical development.

In a recent study on what attending childcare does for children’s speech, understanding, and thinking skills, we found that a child who regularly attended nursery or a childminder one day a week during the pandemic understood an average of 24 more new words over the research period compared with their peers. Pandemic restrictions

As the first lockdown in England was announced in March 2020, nurseries, childminders and other early years providers were closed to all children except those of critical workers or those classed as vulnerable. In the four months that followed, nursery attendance in England was down to 5-10% of its usual rate. Many children had to stay at home during lockdown, and missed out on the learning opportunities nursery provides. Nursery staff worked hard to stay connected to families. Many provided free and easy online activities such as stories and songs, puppet shows and creative competitions.

Despite these huge efforts, we don’t yet know what impact the disruption will have on children in the longer term. Will those who were able to attend nursery have reaped the usual, pre-COVID benefits, as so many of their playmates and teachers were at home, and their usual play environment looked so different?

Although the benefits of early childhood education and care are particularly pronounced in children from disadvantaged backgrounds , those from more privileged backgrounds will likely also have been impacted by nursery closures, as families struggled to provide supportive learning environments at home while splitting their time between caring for young children, educating their other children and working.

To understand how this disruption has affected families and young children, we recruited nearly 200 UK families through our research labs . Between March and June 2020, we asked about their use of formal (such as nursery and childminders) and informal (family and friends) […]

How Do You Explain Social-Emotional Learning In The Classroom?

How Do You Explain Social-Emotional Learning In The Classroom?

The recent shift toward social-emotional learning (SEL)–accelerated by the shift to remote teaching and learning and the isolation of a global pandemic–is, of course, a wonderful thing.

If nothing else, it’s a nod and a wink to the idea that students are first people. Emotion drives us as human beings–our brains literally, for example. In Why Emotion Is More Important Than Understanding , I quoted the following ‘neuroscientific’ explanation: Emotion enhances our ability to form vivid memories of even trivial events. Norepinephrine (NE), a neuromodulator released during emotional arousal, plays a central role in the emotional regulation of memory . . . Our results indicate that NE-driven phosphorylation of GluR1 facilitates the synaptic delivery of GluR1-containing AMPARs, lowering the threshold for LTP, thereby providing a molecular mechanism for how emotion enhances learning and memory.

So emotion enhances learning by flooding the brain with biological actuators of memory. In education, we look for symptoms of these emotions, maybe engagement or creativity. In regards to human motivation, in his book ‘ Drive ,’ Daniel Pink says that, “The best use of money as a motivator is to pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table: Pay people enough so that they’re not thinking about money and they’re thinking about the work. Once you do that, it turns out there are three factors that the science shows lead to better performance, not to mention personal satisfaction: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

These pseudo-abstractions–autonomy, mastery, and (especially) purpose–are all either causes or effects of ’emotions.’ These emotions themselves are causes and effects of mindsets and psychological urges and patterns. These urges and patterns have been forged over time through the natural and countless feedback loops embedded in living.

Years ago, there was a push for ‘Whole Child’ education that addressed the broader needs of children–those that extend beyond the academic. Recently, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has also been referenced and emphasized because the idea of teaching an anxious or hungry or depressed student the Pythagorean Theorem just doesn’t feel like our best thinking. Let’s address the former, the thinking goes, so that we can teach the latter.

It’s at this point that we really need to decide what the purpose of school is–something I’ve addressed directly and indirectly in dozens of posts over the years: The Definition Of Good Work , The Characteristics Of A Good School , What Works In Education And How Do We Know , and more.

It’s at this point that we really need to decide what the purpose of school is–something I’ve addressed directly and indirectly in dozens of posts over the years: The Definition Of Good Work, The Characteristics Of A Good School, What Works In Education And How Do We Know, and more.

Is it the responsibility of school to ‘attend’ first to the social-emotional well-being of a child? Maybe ‘responsibility’ isn’t the best word. Should it be a priority? A ‘nice to have’? A ‘while teaching other stuff, add this in’? A way to frame all academic learning?

Should there be standards for it so we all mean the same thing? Standards for social-emotional learning seems like an absurd idea but maybe it’s not. Maybe education needs to understand this kind of push collectively.

Does Your Child Hate Soccer? Here are 28 Hobbies for Kids You Haven’t Thought Of

Does Your Child Hate Soccer? Here are 28 Hobbies for Kids You Haven’t Thought Of

Hobbies are skill-building activities that relax and inspire you on the regular. In fact, a good one is downright therapeutic for kids and adults alike. If the young person in your life is spending too much of their free time sitting passively in front of a screen , a new interest is likely the only intervention they need. Of course, you can’t pick a hobby for another human, since the ones that really stick are those that speak to a person’s individual interests, but chances are you know your child pretty well. If you’re hoping to give your kid a gentle push in the right direction (i.e., away from Roblox), plant the seed by suggesting one of these unique and stimulating hobbies for kids.

1. Gardening

Aside from the obvious appeal of a hobby that allows kids to get their hands dirty, gardening is also an excellent activity for mindfulness , so it will calm your kid down while providing a physical workout to boot. Bonus: You don’t even need to have an outdoor space of your own for your child to put their green thumb to work, because time spent at a community garden can be equally rewarding.

2. Volunteering

Regular volunteer work is a crash course in compassion that teaches kids the importance of giving back to the community. It’s also a fun way for kids to make new friends and meet interesting people from all walks of life. Plus, given the huge variety of volunteer opportunities available, this hobby will never get old.

3. Chess

This classic game of strategy provides a stimulating challenge at every level of play. The critical thinking involved in chess also has major brain-boosting benefits and kids can join chess clubs and compete in tournaments for some friendly competition as their skill-level increases.

4. Yoga

Yoga is a well-known and widely practiced activity that strengthens muscles, improves physical fitness and calms the mind—and it’s not just for grown-ups. Yoga classes for kids are an excellent option for young people who want a hobby that involves physical activity, without the competitive component of most other sports.

5. Photography

Older kids can nourish their creativity with photography as a hobby. Of course, you’ll have to provide the camera and your child will need to put some effort into learning the skills that go into getting a good shot, but the process of exploring their surroundings in search of new subjects is sure to inspire budding artists.

6. Scrapbooking

Any kid who’s old enough to work with a pair of scissors can take up scrapbooking—a hobby that encourages self-expression and creativity, while producing pieces of art that will continue to inspire pride any time […]

Continue reading the rest at www.purewow.com

6 Psychologically Damaging Things Parents Say To Their Kids Without Realizing It

6 Psychologically Damaging Things Parents Say To Their Kids Without Realizing It

Parents sometimes say things to their children that are harmful — without realizing it. Parents don’t set out to say hurtful or harmful things to their children, but it happens. You’re tired, they’re pushing your buttons, and you’re frustrated after asking them for the 600th time to clear their plates or get out the door on time. You could also be inadvertently repeating things you heard in your own childhood that your parents (and maybe even you) didn’t realize took an emotional toll.

We parents are trying our best, but sometimes — a lot of times — we fall short. That’s why it can be helpful to know some of the potentially damaging phrases parents often resort to without realizing their impact. It’s not about beating ourselves up. It’s about doing better by being a bit more conscious of our language.

So HuffPost Parents spoke with several experts who shared some harmful phrases you should try to erase from your vocabulary — and what to say instead.

1. “It’s not a big deal.”

Kids often cry or melt down over stuff that seems really silly. (Recall the delightful “ reasons my kid is crying ” meme that had a real moment a few years back.) But while kids’ crying and whining can definitely get under their parents’ skin — particularly when it’s over something you think they should be able to cope with — it’s harmful to diminish their very real feelings by basically telling them to buck up.

“These little problems — and the emotions that come with them — are actually huge to our kids,” said Amy McCready, a parenting educator, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of “If I Have to Tell You One More Time.” “When we discount their emotional responses to very real challenges, we tell them, ‘How you feel doesn’t matter,’ or ‘It’s silly to be afraid or disappointed.’”

Instead, try this:

Take a moment and try to understand things from their perspective. McCready recommended saying something like: “You seem really scared or frustrated or disappointed right now. Should we talk about it and figure out what to do?” Ultimately, you’re helping them label their emotions (an important part of developing emotional intelligence ) and making it clear that you’re there for them.

2. “You never” or “You always do XYZ.”

Children have their patterns, but saying your kid “always” or “never” does something simply isn’t true. (That’s why marriage counselors advise clients to avoid the word “never” with their partners altogether.)

Using broad statements is a red flag that you’ve stopped being curious about what’s happening in this particular moment with your child, according to Robbin McManne, founder of Parenting for Connection.

“It misses opportunity for you to teach them what they should and what they can do next time,” McManne said.

Instead, try this:

Remind yourself to be curious about why your child is engaging in a particular behavior at a particular time. It really helps to connect by getting physically close to your child in that moment, McManne said, so that you’re not shouting at them from across the house, but you’re right there with them to make sure they’re not distracted by something else.

Continue reading the rest at www.huffpost.com

How can we save our kids from screen addiction, which soared during the pandemic?

How can we save our kids from screen addiction, which soared during the pandemic?

Amir, a seven years old child, shows violent behavior and angry outbursts when his mother, Nour, refuses to let him watch TV or play on his iPad. Moreover, he does his virtual homework only if his mother allows him to spend at least five hours straight on screens. Amir’s mother, Nour, told Enab Baladi that even on special family occasions, her children spend a significant part of their playtime with their peers on screens amid the absence of traditional children’s games, which include physical activities.

In the past, TV stations used to broadcast children’s cartoons and shows within a scheduled period of time, commensurate with the school education systems in each country, in an attempt to minimize the negative side effects of too much-unorganized screen time. Unfortunately, the new digital devices, which display their content 24 hours a day, thanks to the available access to the internet, undermined efforts to monitor time spent staring at screens. Children can use technology, turning it into a habit that can be practiced at any time and without limits. Moreover, the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and the shutdown of traditional schools accelerated the embracement of digital learning immensely. Thus, children’s screen time soared during the pandemic.

Pediatric psychiatrist Alaa Daly told Enab Baladi that children’s misuse of technology—children often use technology for playing video games and watching videos— poses great dangers to their mental health, especially at young ages, the stage when the children are developing their language and social skills in order to interact and communicate with others.

Children’s mental health is also affected by the overuse of technology. Video games, in particular, have a harmful effect on their attention and concentration. While playing video games, children are completely detached from their surroundings. In other words, they cannot focus on their daily life activities, including physical ones, or connect with their families appropriately.

Prolonged TV viewing and digital game playing also inhibit the child’s ability to communicate and interact with other children, which is essential at this age. Excessive screen time may also lead to depression, anxiety, addictive behavior regarding the internet, sensitivity, anger outbursts, separation from reality, and lack of acceptance of real-life and interaction with its events. Alternative solution

Pediatric psychiatrist Alaa Daly said that one of the methods to mitigate potential risk factors for children, including their spending too much time on digital screens, is to find other non-screen activities for children to become involved. This means extra parent-child bonding activities. Parents should spend more quality time with their children; they should communicate with their children openly and effectively, carry out at-home activities, and minimize the amount of time children […]

Continue reading the rest at english.enabbaladi.net

Who is Making Asian American Pacific Islander History in 2021: The GMA Inspiration List

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrates the contributions of one of the fastest-growing groups of people living in the United States. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders contain multitudes. They are a global community with a homegrown and unique perspective on America.

Their diversity expands continents and demographics. The hopes and dreams of the AAPI community are America at its finest, and its people and traditions are those that are tightly stitched into the fabric of the nation. The American dream is alive and well within the AAPI community, and we’ve gathered so many of those dreams here throughout this inspiring list of individuals.

We’re publishing The GMA Inspiration List as the community asserts its voice — speaking out and standing up as anti-Asian violence has spread amid the COVID-19 pandemic; defining itself on its own terms; and increasing awareness of their collective history and future in the United States.

The month of May is a time to remember those who have enriched the community and others with knowledge, pride and respect. We recognize that work, those struggles and the vision for the future of the AAPI community, and reflect on the idea that their history is at the heart of American history.

Welcome to the GMA INSPIRATION LIST: Who’s Making AAPI History Right Now?

Good Morning America and ABC News asked influential AAPI leaders, celebrities, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, athletes and more to nominate fellow members of the community for the list. It’s important to note: the vastness of the AAPI community means it has deep ties in countries of origin, which includes the rich Asian global diaspora. To honor the global community, we’ve provided space for nominators who do not identify as American. Most of the nominations on the list are rising stars on the cusp of becoming household names, whose influence, we believe, will become monumental. They are those who are doing the work, gaining success and sharing their talent … and making history right now.

America, meet the next generation of AAPI excellence. James Hong nominates Chris Naoki Lee

As an actor who has been a part of this business for nearly 70 years, it has been inspiring to see the rise in work from the Asian community, and I am proud to acknowledge Chris Naoki Lee as an up and coming artist. This industry certainly tries to put you in a box, or tries to make you stay in your own lane, but just as I had learned to weave my career into what it is today, I see Chris making similar bold choices as well. Not only does he work as an actor, but he continues to adapt and evolve in the fields of writing, directing, and producing. […]

Continue reading the rest at abcnews.go.com