Child psychologist suggests rewarding children does not help long term learning

“In reality, all the research we have done on motivation shows that as soon as you offer kids a reward to do something, their attention is taken away from what they are doing and put onto the reward.

Child psychologist suggests rewarding children does not help long term learning

5 Links: World’s Worst Mom, Glitter Bombs, Evermotion

1 – The never ending debate about kids safety vs independence became a reality show from Discovery Life. Go behind the scenes with the New York Times article “Parenting Advice From ‘America’s Worst Mom.’” More about the show and its star Lenore Skenazy from Reason magazine.

2 – This video is funny. A dad gets glitter bombed for reading his kids mail. This video is uplifting. Kid President addresses the nation: “When life gives you lemons, you gotta make lemonade. And drink it. And then you dance.”

3 – Another New York Times link in the Well – “The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk” The mood and brain-boosting benefits of a lunchtime walk are legit. Even here in bitter, frozen Vermont I make this happen most days of the week. I’m cheating a bit though –  it’s also to walk the dog.

4 – Here’s a fun and slightly educational new coloring book about robots and computers. Buy it for $10 or download and print pages for free.

5 – I love the new Guster album Evermotion. Love it. The Boston Globe calls it “terrific,” rooted in three key Bs — Beatles, Beach Boys, and Bacharach. You can play it around the kids; none of the song have swears, guns or overt sex talk, just a ton of great melodies. It also sounds great through headphones, which is how I’ve listed to it every other hour for the past couple of weeks. http://www.guster.com

Oscar-Nominated Movies You Can Watch From Home

Several people suggested that we share Julie Whitaker’s article “2015 Oscar-Nominated Movies You Can Watch From Home.” After all, it’s usually difficult for parents (especially of younger children) to find time to get out to a movie.

My partner and I still go to the movies, though it’s only about once a month for the latest special effects bonanza. We prefer to stream more thoughtful movies at home. You know, with a glass of wine.

 

Your Ultimate Snow Day

With the northeast poised to be slammed by the type of snow storm that clears grocery store shelves of everything from cartons of milk to decks of playing cards, it seems likely many kids are going to be home from school tomorrow whether they sleep with their pajamas inside out or not.

We know there’s a range of emotion that occurs when you’re staring down the barrel of being snowed in with children. Panic, excitement, and anxiety, followed by a mental inventory of toilet paper, alcohol, and hidden junk food stashes. So in an effort to take some of the work off your shoulders, we’ve scheduled your ultimate snow day. And if your kids argue about any of the plans, well, tell them you’re sorry but it’s on the list.

Night before preparations

  • Set bowls outside to catch the base for your sugar on snow
  • Put the cereal on the table and the milk on the lowest shelf for easy access and perhaps snag yourself a few extra moments of snow day “sleeping in”.
  • If your driveway is long, park at the end of it. Save yourself a few feet of necessary snow removal.

Morning Prep

  • In the event the cereal didn’t cut it, throw down a real snow day breakfast by whipping up these no frills pancakes, or pull out the bisquick. Out of eggs? No problem. Blow their minds by using snow. (WHAT?! It’s true. We learned it on the internet.) Two heaping tablespoons of it can replace 1 egg. Freshly fallen works best, which is great. You might be up to your eyeballs in it.
  • Challenge all participants to a winter gear round up. Capitalize on their inherent need to win and be fast while sparing yourself getting everyone dressed.

Outside

  • Sure, you could build a regular old snowman with a jaunty hat, carrot nose, and some rock buttons. Or you could be the house on the block that makes the rules by building one of these bad boys.
  • Drag your sleds to the nearest hill and bring along a serious shovel. How else do you plan to engineer an epic jump? (Pro tip: Bring some water if the snow is powdery.)
  • Fill spray bottles with water and food coloring. Turn the white canvas into winter graffiti. Don’t use just red. Unless you’re going for a look that’s more hunter/maniac chic.
  • Stage a snowball fight, or if you want to minimize the likelihood of tears, hang a cardboard target from a tree instead.

Are they asking to come in yet?

Any dissenters who aren’t old enough to stay outside alone? Haul some snow inside by the bucketful and fill the bathtub. Retrieve the sand toys you never got around to packing away properly anyway and let them have at it while you move on to warmer things.

Inside

  • Here’s the part of the day where you get all jedi mind trick. Do you want a clean house and happy entertained kids? Inform the crew that the house is about to become a movie theater. However, first that’s going to require a bit of organizing and cleaning up, for which they will earn (fake) money to be spent on the afternoon’s blockbuster. Pillows, blankets and cushions can transform the viewing area, and the craftier among the group can fashion tickets and signs. The cash they earn can pay the entrance fee and all the popcorn and hot chocolate they can eat.
  • Post movie, turn the theater into an ultimate fort for the evening’s board game competition.

Hopefully you’re well stocked on the essentials. And if they’re home longer than a day, remember if they’re old enough to walk, they’re old enough to shovel.

5 Links: Screentime, Bedtime Reading, Kid App Trends

Trendy topics last week included the importance of reading to kids, and the potential overuse of technology by children.

Over on Medium, Gary Vaynerchuk writes “I refuse to limit or restrict hours on a screen for my children” because “it’s prepping them for the world that is going to to be. Straight up.” Read it here.

Meanwhile, the Guardian posted 10 children’s app trends for 2015 by Stuart Dredge that’s definitely worth a read if apps are part of your family life.

A study discussed in The Telegraph shows that books at bedtime can help children learn more quickly. In the New York Times, a new study unsurprisingly shows that Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own.”

This is a good time to again recommend @gweinger’s Medium post, “Be selfish: keep reading to your kids.”

Wrapping it all up, on the Daily Beast @Samantha Allen writes that “men will have someday have kids without women.” I thought jetpacks and hoverboards were the priority.