Parenting

Comments and opinion about parenting as a complement to a private school education.

View the most popular articles in Parenting:

Resources For Families Affected By Autism

Updated
|
Resources For Families Affected By Autism
There are over five million people in the U.S. with autism. Here is some basic information and resources to understand autism.

I don't remember hearing about children with autism growing up in Montreal. It only came onto my radar when I was older, and I had some co-workers with autistic children. From what I was told, these children seemed to have mild cases of autism. This was later confirmed when I saw posts on Facebook recounting academic and other successes. Many years later, while working at the local classical music radio station, I interacted regularly with two adults who had much more severe cases of autism. Both individuals seemed to know more about classical music than I did, and I am a professional musician! But neither of these two adults appeared to be able to function in a so-called usual manner.

That got me thinking about how I would parent a child who was autistic. So, let's look at the facts, and then I'll offer you some resources on the subject. But first, here's the definition of autism.

Autism is a developmental disorder with symptoms that appear within the first three years of life. Its formal diagnostic name is autism spectrum disorder. The word "spectrum" indicates that autism appears in different forms with varying levels of severity. That means each autistic individual experiences unique strengths, symptoms, and challenges. Source: Autism Research Institute

This video from The Mayo Clinic explains what autism is.

The diagnosis

You can't do a blood or

. . .read more

How To Control Your Child's Screen Time

Updated
|
How To Control Your Child's Screen Time
We parents want to keep our children safe from anything and everything. That's always our biggest worry. We don't want our children watching inappropriate content or playing violent games on their smart devices, do we? That's the rationale behind controlling our children's screen times. So, here are a couple of tips on making that happen.

We parents want to keep our children safe from anything and everything. That's always our biggest worry. When I was raising our children, keeping my daughters safe meant showing them how to cross the street and how not to speak to strangers. But, fast forward to the 21st century, and keeping children safe comes with a whole set of digital challenges, besides the analog challenges of crossing streets safely. Smart TVs, tablets, computers, and smartphones can consume vast amounts of a young person's time when we allow that to happen. However, what concerns me most is the quality of the material available on all those digital devices. We don't want our children watching inappropriate content or playing violent games on their smart devices, do we? That's the rationale behind controlling our children's screen times. So, here are a couple of tips on making that happen.

Create healthy screen habits.

Children are curious. Insatiably so. They want answers. They want to explore. And they want to have fun doing it. Create healthy screen habits by configuring your child's smart devices to be tools for learning and exploration. That will open up vast worlds for them to explore. The kid who dreams of building a robot can find tons of information about robotics. The same with the arts, sports, literature, languages - you name it, her smart device will have it. The trick is to configure her smart devices so that she can only access the good stuff, not the

. . .read more

Bubble-wrapped Children

Updated
|
Bubble-wrapped Children
With so much uncertainty in the world today and a pandemic further confounding our lives, it's reasonable for parents to want to protect their children whenever and wherever possible? But overprotecting or bubble-wrapping? Well, that's another matter.

I have written about the issue of over-protective parents recently. The subject intrigues me because I have always wondered what drives parents to be that way. Why would any parent want to disempower their child? After all, that's one of the downsides of being over-protective. Unfortunately, I can only speak authoritatively from my own experience raising two daughters and two sons. In this article, I will refer to and quote more knowledgeable people to explain what's involved with raising bubble-wrapped children.

How we raised our children

We were always concerned with our children's safety. Fortunately, the communities where we lived were safe. Back in the 70s and 80s, we didn't have to worry about social media and video games. As a classical musician, I recall being appalled at some of the popular music my children listened to. But they had caring, experienced teachers in the private schools they attended. We provided enrichment activities including horse-riding, music lessons, summer sessions at talented and gifted schools. Looking back at those times, I must confess that I probably would have been a helicopter father, that is, if my dear wife had let me act that way. But she didn't. She never missed a trick. Nothing escaped her when it came to her children. Absolutely nothing. Her secret was to let her kids make mistakes. I remember when our eldest daughter came in 30 minutes after she was supposed to be home. Her mother was waiting patiently and greeted a

. . .read more

The Velcro Parent

Updated
|
The Velcro Parent
Velcro is a hook and loop fastener which sticks things together. It also has become a popular term for describing a certain kind of over-protective parent.

Velcro is a hook and loop fastener which sticks things together. It also has become a popular term for describing a certain kind of over-protective parent. The other term used to describe such parents is helicopter parent. The term drone is also used. I was curious about the phenomenon as I don't recall that Nancy or I were that over-protective with our children. My research indicates that hovering came into vogue with the advent of smartphones. Texting and apps make keeping in touch with your children very easy to do. Having said that, it is very easy to be too involved. That is not good for your child, and her school will not appreciate your velcro tendencies. There has to be a balance between hands-on involvement and a hands-off approach. So, let's approach the issue from that perspective. We will look at how this applies to each grade level as your children progress through their schools.

Pre-school

I was one of those lucky fathers who got to drive his daughters to their pre-schools. In those days back in the 70s, I was on the staff of a large Episcopal church on Long Island. Our house was about 2 miles from my eldest daughter's pre-school. The pre-school was located in the Sunday School classroom wing of the church. In fact, the school had just been established because there was such a strong demand for pre-schools in that south shore community.

. . .read more

7 Ways Kids Can Avoid Summer Brain Drain

Updated
|
7 Ways Kids Can Avoid Summer Brain Drain
The summer "Brain Drain," also known as the "Summer Slide" is a term commonly used by educators and parents alike to describe the learning loss that takes place for many students during summer months. We polled the experts and found the 7 best ways parents and kids can combat the problem head on.

How to Avoid Summer Brain Drain

The summer “Brain Drain”, also known as the “Summer Slide,” is a term commonly used by educators and parents alike to describe the learning loss that takes place for many students during summer months.

Brain Drain occurs when the extended break from structured learning and scheduled academic work makes the mind lazy and makes it easier to forget material that has already been learned. It is a major concern for American legislators, educators, and parents alike. We’ve paneled some of the top experts in education to get the best advice for parents to help kids avoid summer Brain Drain. From CEO’s to Technologists to PhD’s and more, we’ve got the expert advice to help kids of all ages stay sharp all year long.

1. “We’re always learnings, but what are we learning?”

First thing’s first: take time to get to know your child’s interests. Dr. Alice Wilder, Chief Content Officer at Speakaboos, is a huge proponent of tapping into children’s interests to maximize their learning potential. Dr. Alice is a leader in children’s media and research, with senior production roles on landmark franchises and programs like Blue’s Clues, Super Why!, Speakaboos, and Amazon Kids (to name just a few of her many projects and accomplishments).

Dr. Alice says parents should allow their child to be bored at times to uncover their interests. “See what they come

. . .read more

Recent Articles

Applications Calendar
Applications Calendar
Keep track of application deadlines as well as all the other aspects of choosing a school.
Making Social Media Work for Your School
Making Social Media Work for Your School
An introduction to using Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest to promote your school.
SEO for Private Schools - Part 3: Using Social Media
SEO for Private Schools - Part 3: Using Social Media
Social media for private K-12 schools is a bit different from social media for businesses. Some tips and strategies here.