Summary of “Why Kids Want Things”

It’s really a fraught time, and there’s all this insecurity that kids have about Who am I? Do people like me? What kind of person am I? So how do we navigate that? Well, our appearance is one of the things we navigate with.
Pinsker: Can you talk a bit about what the alternative is to dwelling on physical stuff-the “Intangible resources” that kids have for making conversation, like who they are and things they’re good at?
So if kids have more things like athletic skills or activities that they can talk about or form connections with friends over those things, they can feel good about themselves through many different kinds of things.
She gives them words on paper and asks, “How important are these things to you?” And then they put the most important things on their collage.
As the kids get to middle-school age, more and more tangible things get on there and a larger percent of them are actual things, as opposed to activities or other people.
The helpful thing for parents here-and also the harmful-is yes, peers are really important, but our kids are watching us.
So that’s another reasonably strong association: Children who recall that their parents just bought them stuff when they wanted it, or who paid them money or bought them things when they got good grades, there’s a very consistent association that when these things happen in childhood, when that person is an adult, they’re more likely to be materialistic.
I never thought it was a good idea to reward children tangibly for the things that they do, because I don’t think life works that way-there are a lot of things you have to do and you don’t get any reward for them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Kids Find the Darndest Prehistoric Things”

His story made the news, but he’s hardly the first kid to find something prehistoric or just pretty darn cool.
When it comes to spotting fossils and other amazing things in and on the ground, kids have quite a few things going for them.
There is ample opportunity for amateur fossil hunters of any age to find something out there, if they look in the right place.
“There are only so many paleontologists in the world, and we can only spend so much time in the outcrops looking for fossils,” says Bill Simpson, head of the geological collections and collections manager of fossil vertebrates at the Field Museum in Chicago.
Finding something big like Hepner did is relatively rare, but if you count fossil fragments, the amount of ancient stuff in the Midwest is “Just about infinite,” says Paul Mayer, collections manager of fossil invertebrates at the Field Museum, who regularly examines amateur finds at the museum’s identification days.
There’s no way to keep track of fossils found by kids to compare against ones found by adults.
When kids do find things, it could be more likely to make the news, partly because they look so cute when they’re psyched about something.
The lessons of his discovery and so many others are worth remembering: Whether you’re a kid or just a grown-up geeked up about fossils, keep an open mind and always be willing to crouch down for a closer look.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Is the Cost of College Doing to Families?”

Caitlin Zaloom: College used to be a lot cheaper for families, because there was more funding from the government.
So middle-class families didn’t always have to pay for college with debt.
President Ronald Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, said in 1981, “If people want to go to college bad enough, then there is opportunity and responsibility on their part to finance their way through the best way they can.” When those who argued that college is a private benefit framed it like that, it became logical to say that education should be paid for by the people that it benefits.
Pinsker: Many of the parents and children you interviewed about their college-related debt feared that they were being financially burdensome to their family members.
Across all of my interviews, it was so important to parents to enable their kids to move into open futures, not limited by the parents’ economic background.
Parents understand something profound about living in a powerfully unequal society.
Pinsker: The middle-class parents in your book generally didn’t talk with their kids about the financial strain of paying for college.
Why do you think parents so often avoid conversations about money with their kids?

The orginal article.

Summary of “What should parents ask their child’s teacher?”

As the school year gets underway and assignments start to accumulate in the grade book, the most common question I get, by far, is “What can my child do to get her grade up?” In particular, parents often get in touch asking for extra credit or chances for kids to redo graded assignments.
What I wish parents would ask instead is: “What do you notice about my child’s reading, writing, and thinking skills?” In other words, I wish parents would ask more about the root causes and rationale for the numbers they’re seeing, rather than looking for a quick fix to change the number.
I can’t speak for all middle school teachers, but I believe that offering the copious extra credit or do-overs parents often ask for is counterproductive; it raises the number in the grade book to a number that might make both parent and child feel more comfortable, but it obscures the student’s true skill level.
I can’t offer you my observations and suggestions about your student’s academic strengths and areas of need at the very beginning of the year, of course, but I can by, say, October, and I wish that more parents would ask me to do so.
Cassy Sarnell, Preschool Special Education, New York: I wish parents would ask, “How can I help my child learn to be more independent at home?” I am a special ed preschool teacher, and a large part of my work is focused on building independent and self-help skills so kids can prepare for school.
Independence is important for children to develop self-esteem, pride in their work, and a variety of fine motor and gross motor skills, and if parents foster these skills at home, it will allow the child to grow even more and develop independent skills even faster.
I don’t blame the parents for wanting to help their child-as I said, working with special education kids means that my students do require more help to complete living skills than their typical peers do, and sometimes it is faster to just do things for your child.
Parents sometimes don’t have the best gauge for what independent skills their child can develop if she’s given clear directions and expectations.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I’ll Be Loving You Forever”

Gretchen knew how to suck out mosquito and bee venom with a syringe.
Gretchen knew how to escape from a mugger, if the situation ever arose.
For some reason, despite the fact that I was weird and definitely talked too much, Gretchen wanted to be my friend.
“I’ve liked them since ‘Please Don’t Go Girl’.” Like I said: Gretchen knew everything.
What’cha Gonna Do. The noxious combination of mainstream backlash, an aging fanbase in search of a new transitional object, and a rapidly changing musical landscape – my 1993 anthem with Gretchen was “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – finally caught up with NKOTB in 1994.
It’s nearing 11:00 by the time Gretchen and I sneak onto the MAX along with approximately 400 other ladies of a certain age wearing similar garb.
As the train drops off more passengers and approaches Gretchen’s stop, I’m no longer thinking about Joey McIntyre’s stage presence or Jordan Knight’s unfortunate politics.
Most of the snaps Gretchen takes are kid-only, but I’m in a few of them, still wearing my NKOTB shirt.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Should Parents Pay for Adult Children’s Bills?”

You’ve taught them about the human condition while shielding them from its ugliness.
You’ve watched more episodes of Doc McStuffins than one would believe humanly possible.
You’ve held the hot glue gun during the big dyed-rice map of Uruguay project.
You’ve memorized the pronoun of each kid in your child’s class, including little M.J. who identifies as a zir.
You’ve gotten your kid vaccinated despite the fact that “Caleb’s mom isn’t making him get any shots”-no, scratch that, the vaccines are precisely because Caleb’s mom isn’t making him get any shots.
You’ve seen two pet gerbils doing things to each other that would cause hysterical blindness in a lesser mother.
You’ve cocooned your babies in a thick layer of sunscreen and unconditional love while feeding them homemade kale chips.
You’ve lectured them on the soul-sucking effects of screen time, the perils of vaping, and the need for condoms.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My Runaway Childhood”

In the small roach-infested apartment I shared with my mom, I took my time.
In the two years before I fled, the abuse had gotten worse: her need to control me, locking me in closets or the bathroom; ordering me to clean the apartment at all hours, scrubbing the carpet with nothing but toilet paper and water, scraping the crust off the rim of Mom’s toilet.
Summer of 1982, my mom and I came to Los Angeles.
On the way to the group home, I remembered all the times my mom bent over me and kissed me goodnight, whispering, “The princess is sleeping.”
Cop cars driving along, probably on their way to pick up another kid who was being taken from their mom.
My mom did not do those things so she could not relate, and pulled her seat a little bit out of the circle, keeping herself at a distance from the others.
Each time someone boarded the van, the little boy next to me hollered out, “I’m gonna see my mom today!”.
Only now am I attempting to rebuild our relationship, “Mom” rolling around in my mouth like a bizarre gumdrop.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Kids aren’t playing enough sports. The culprit? Cost”

The Aspen Institute, through its Project Play initiative, looked at research from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association that found that in 2018, only 38% of kids aged 6 to 12 played team sports on a regular basis – down from 45% a decade earlier – and it decided to find out why.
The Aspen Institute found that travel is now the costliest element of youth sports and that on average across all sports, parents spent $196 per sport and per child annually to travel.
A staff of coaches and volunteers who know the sports and care about what they are teaching the kids helps, too, he said.
“It’s not like a panic button. Kids are always going to be interested in sport. The whole idea is, how do we get a lot of kids playing and have really good experiences?” Dan Gould, director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, told ESPN. “If every youth sports coach in America’s goal was to have kids fall in love with sport, they’re going to be more active, healthy, safe and get the benefits. We better keep our eye on the ball and take care of it.”
Gould said the drop in participation in youth sports is due to a “Multifactor” reason, with cost definitely at the top.
“People forget the true purpose of sports for kids is a developmental experience to help each kid fall in love with physical activity, become healthy, learn some things about themselves,” he said.
“How do we make sports more for kids and less about the professional model? The professional model is cool, but you don’t give kids a college textbook when they’re in kindergarten.”
Currently, HHS is developing a National Youth Sports Strategy, as directed by an executive order by President Donald Trump in early 2018 that aims to motivate more kids to play team sports.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Perks of a Play-in-the-Mud Educational Philosophy”

In a nation moving toward greater standardization of its public-education system, programs centered around getting kids outside to explore aren’t normal.
These muddy explorers stand out at a moment when many American pre-K programs have become more and more similar to K-12 education: row after row of tiny kids, sitting at desks, drilling letter identification and counting.
According to these advocates, a kid who suffers from anxiety doesn’t necessarily need medication, a child who can’t pay attention doesn’t need a computer program to reshape her development, and one who struggles to keep up physically doesn’t need a targeted summer-camp experience to build his muscles.
Give young kids the opportunities to engage in hours of free, unstructured play in the natural world, and they develop just as organically as any other creature.
The hard part is to nail down how much time outside are particularly good for kids-which is to say, what should outdoor education actually look like in practice? Are there particular types of outdoor experiences that kids really need? It’s not clear that anyone knows.
Her small, private program serves mostly “Somewhat more affluent families.” In West Virginia, where the average monthly cost of center-based child care runs around $560, Riverside’s monthly $400 price tag is relatively steep, since that price only gets kids four days of care per week, and just three and a half hours each day.
Well-heeled parents realize, she says, that “This is what’s going to give your kid an academic advantage. This is what’s going to give your kid life success.” She hopes that if “Affluent folks [are] demanding it,” more early education programs will emerge to provide more kids-of all backgrounds-more time outside.
How can-how should-early-education programs balance the competing demands of academic development and outdoor play? Most kids could benefit from more time outside, but it’s hard to imagine that they don’t also need time with interesting, vocabulary-rich books.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why your Instagram is full of wooden Montessori-inspired baby toys”

Toy industry experts say these beautifully crafted baby toys are making a comeback, thanks to the unique demographics of today’s parents.
There, parents quickly learn the toys are made of sustainable and organic materials, “Backed by science,” “Designed by experts” and that “85% of brain development happens in the first three years.”
They’re moving away from the trends of their own 1990s childhoods when toys like Baby Einstein focused on school smarts.
To fill the revenue gap as toy sales also wane, toy companies need to sell items at a higher price point, and that leads to better materials and products, said Richard Gottlieb, founder and CEO of Global Toy Experts.
What’s more, parents are more likely to buy toys when they have been told of their developmental benefits.
Josh Golin, executive director of Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, said he’s happy to see a departure from screens and digital toys.
Research does show that simple, open-ended toys are better for young children.
Dr. Kori Flower, a pediatrician and associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine, agrees that parents who can’t or don’t want to buy high-end toys shouldn’t worry.

The orginal article.