…Research indicates that success and happiness in life are mediated not just by raw intelligence, but also by one’s ability to apply oneself to a chosen task and work through the process. [Executive functioning or "EF"] skills tend to transfer across domains; if a child learns how to self-regulate in learning one kind of task, it will generally be easier for him to learn to self-regulate in other areas. As adults, even if we struggle with some aspects of EF ourselves, one of the most important things we can help our children with is to develop their own EF skills.
• From NBC Nightly News, a thought-provoking video about the four day school week. This topic brings to a head several issues, including: How long should a school day be? What are the physical/psychological impacts of longer school days? When does school cease to be about learning and become primarily about babysitting? Will this lead to more afterschoolers?
• Again from NBC Nightly News, US now ranks 41 in newborn mortality. This seems unacceptable. It also seems like fodder for online debate about the ever-touchy topic of healthcare. Here’s the link to the study cited if you want to read up on it.
• “Caregiver burnout” is a serious issue that merits wider awareness. Alas, most of us aren’t even aware of the term until we’re caregivers ourselves. More here. Also, if you know someone caring for a sick child or relative–especially someone doing this work for months or years, consider asking them how you might help. If they decline assistance, consider a nice note and perhaps gift card to a suitable business. (If the caregiver must drive a lot to give care and is on a fixed income, a gas card can be a big help.)
• Written from a Christian perspective, this post on what to do when perfectionism and to-do lists overwhelm offers much insight. Yes, even non-believers may appreciate the humanity expressed by the author–and the need for us all to lighten up on ourselves and find comfort in gratitude.
• Ever wanted to teach meditation to your kids? Check out Baby Buddhas! On a related note, one of us has been reading Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire as part of an exploration of world religions.
One of us might come back to these topics, or we might just let them percolate here. While we decide, please tell us: Are any of these issues and topics top-of-mind for you right now? If so, why? Also, what things have you run across of late that you’d like to share? Let us know here or on Facebook.