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Parenting

Is misused neuroscience defining early years and child protection policy?

The idea that a child’s brain is irrevocably shaped in the first three years increasingly drives government policy on adoption and early childhood intervention. But does the science stand up to scrutiny?

“Neuroscience can now explain why early conditions are so crucial,” wrote Graham Allen and Iain Duncan Smith in their 2010 collaboration, Early Intervention: Good Parents, Great Kids, Better Citizens. “The more positive stimuli a baby is given, the more brain cells and synapses it will be able to develop.” 

Neuroscience is huge in early years policy. This week, in what’s been characterised as the largest shake-up of family law in a generation, the 26-week time limit for adoption proceedings has come into force, much of it justified by the now-or-never urgency of this set of beliefs, that the first three years (or sometimes first 18 months) hardwire a baby’s brain, either give it or deny it the capacity for a full life. This is the engine of what is known as the First Three Years movement, which has transfixed politicians from across the spectrum. Allen and Duncan Smith’s report opened with an illustration of the “normal child’s” large brain and the shrivelled, walnut brain of the neglected child. With conferences such as Two Is Too Late (organised by Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom) and papers such as The 1,001 Critical Days, a set of claims are made that echo and reinforce those bold claims made by Allen: first, that we now have a set of scientific findings about the infant brain that can teach us new things about parenting. Second, that concrete events occur – from the production of synapses to the lighting up of areas of the brain on an MRI scanner – that can be interpreted in a straightforward way upon which all science is agreed. Third, with terms such as “critical periods” and “hardwiring”, the thesis is put forward that brains have a finite time window for learning certain things. Fourth, that we can distil the treatment of infants into a set of behaviours that will determine the networks in their brains, either equipping them to empathise, learn, engage and produce, or irreparably failing to equip them. The connections made are endless: babies who fail to make the right neural connections will do badly at school, lack empathy, succumb to criminality, have mental health problems, and end up in a cycle of deprivation themselves.  

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Read more: theguardian.com

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Parenting

How to Teach Kids Respect in 3 Simple Steps!


How to Teach Kids Respect in 3 Simple Steps!

The Parenting Junkie teaches how to teach kids respect. With peaceful parenting it can seem like if we don’t demand respect from our children they will never learn how to respect us as parents. A parent wrote to me recently and said, “I totally believe in peaceful and respectful parenting but I feel as though I’m letting them disrespect me. It says in the Bible obey thy father and thy mother and here I am letting them disobey me. I worry that I’m raising kids who are disrespectful. Some parents believe respect means our children follow our every whim (see my take on that in the recommended videos below). Teaching kids respect can seem like a daunting task but when we flip our mindset about it you will see that teaching children respect is simple but like anything on the peaceful parenting journey it requires we also look in the mirror. Your children are learning respect through watching you. How are you showing respect? If we don’t demand obedience and respect will our kids be respectful?

[3:00] – Respect thy father and thy mother
3 Ways to raise kids who are respectful
[4:21] #1 – Respect Your Elders
[5:20] #2 – Respect Your Youngers
[6:45] #3 – Respect Yourself
[7:39] – How to respond when your child is disrespectful
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RECOMMEND TO WATCH / LISTEN TO NEXT:
► Do Reward Systems Work? (https://youtu.be/9EKlFXaCtYA)
► How Can I Get my Kid to do Chores (https://youtu.be/f-agVk8Oyt0)
► How to Raise a Child with Manners (https://youtu.be/1vOjPOLtYeU)
► Podcast: How Our Children Actually Learn (https://www.theparentingjunkie.com/podcast_type/how-your-children-actually-learn-surprising-uncomfortable-%f0%9f%a4%af/)

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Considering Free Range Parenting? Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks!?


Considering Free Range Parenting? Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks!?

The Parenting Junkie discusses free range parenting. What is free-range parenting? How are free range kids different from kids that grow up with helicopter parents? In this video you’ll learn why choosings to be a free range family is a great choice. When kids are allowed to be free-range kids the freedom and independence they gain allows them to grow into competent adults. In addition, research suggests that free range children grow up to be less anxious and depressed (who doesn’t want that?). In the book, How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims, she writes that she has met parents who would not allow their 17 year old daughter to take the subway. Interested in resources to help you learn the real risks of free range parenting? Checkout Let Grow (letgrow.org) founded by Lenore Senazy with resources such as the laws, groups interested in raising free range children, etc. Also, if you are looking for resources to help teach your children to be safe (ie teach about tricky people instead of stranger danger) checkout safely ever after founded by Pattie Fitzgerald.

What to do to become more trusting and free-range with your children:
#1- Limit fear mongering & sensationalist news [6:31]
#2 – Switch from Stranger Danger to Tricky People [9:22]
#3 – Find Ways to Allow Freedom [12:49]

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RECOMMEND TO WATCH / LISTEN TO NEXT:
► How Can I Get My Kids to do Chores (https://youtu.be/f-agVk8Oyt0)
► Why Kids Need Risky Play (https://youtu.be/smEwpYRPA08)
► Allowance and Chores? (https://youtu.be/36NOM0FAhbc)
► The Danger of Safety (https://youtu.be/-azMKn62nfY)

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO
How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims (https://amzn.to/2KTPUzf)
Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children by Lenore Skenazy (https://amzn.to/2Nw42k7)
Let Grow (https://letgrow.org/)
Super Duper Safety School: Safety Rules for Kids & Grown-Ups by Pattie Fitzgerald (https://amzn.to/2HrPNcd)
Safely Ever After (https://www.safelyeverafter.com/)

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Why Kids Need Risky Play (and how to feel safe encouraging it!)


Why Kids Need Risky Play (and how to feel safe encouraging it!)

The Parenting Junkie illustrates the importance of risky play. In this video you’ll learn why you need to let kids take risks and the benefits of risk taking in early childhood. The importance of risky play and adventurous play cannot be understated. Kids need to have risk in play in order to develop properly. This can seem daunting so you’ll also learn how to encourage risky play and still feel safe. In her book Balanced and Barefoot, Angela Hanscom points out the detriments this lack of play causes for our children. Luckily enough research has been done that there are more risky playgrounds being built for children such as the adventure playgrounds you’ll see footage of in this video. In addition to learning the benefits of risky play, you’ll learn the 6 categories of risky play by Peter Gray author of Free to Learn. After watching this you’ll feel much more comfortable allowing your children the unstructured play and risky play they need.

How to Help Your Children Take Meaningful and Reasonable Risks:
#1 – Stop Saying Be Careful [7:34]
#2 – Keep Your Own Feelings in Check [9:38]
#3 – Seek Opportunities for Risky Play [10:29]

6 Categories of Risky Play
1. Great Heights [11:05]
2. Rapid Speeds [11:34]
3. Dangerous Tools [11:56]
4. Dangerous Elements [12:52]
5. Rough and Tumble [13:24]
6. Disappearing/Getting Lost [14:21]

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RECOMMEND TO WATCH / LISTEN TO NEXT:
► The Play Toddlers Need (https://youtu.be/hHzSj0eMbwM)
► The Danger of Safety (https://youtu.be/-azMKn62nfY)
► What to Do When Another Child Hits Yours (https://youtu.be/99wv6wJc_lE)
► Disadvantages of Competitive Sports for Kids (https://youtu.be/ZfSuQ4nyDxI)

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO
Balanced and Barefoot by Angela Hanscom (https://amzn.to/2ZdMsUd)
Free to Learn by Peter Gray (https://amzn.to/2Zcqa5o)
Knives for Kids (https://amzn.to/2ZmAZ9a)
Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen (https://amzn.to/2YYoAIQ)

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Parenting

Disadvantages of Sports for Kids and How to Bring Back the FUN!!


Disadvantages of Sports for Kids and How to Bring Back the FUN!!

The Parenting Junkie illustrates the disadvantages of sports, specifically the disadvantages of sports for kids. In this video you’ll learn about the harmful effects of competition as well as problems with competition. Instead of focusing on competition and competitive sports you’ll see that there can be fun in sports when we leave it up to our children to decide. The problem with competition is that it focuses on winning and winning only. The flip side is the theory where everybody wins. Neither of which really help teach our children. In order to bring back fun in sports we need to make sports fun by allowing children to create their own pick-up games. In this video you’ll see the problem with organized sports is that they focus on competition for kids, this will show you what to do instead. By the end of this video you’ll understand why competitive sports at a young age is harmful and how to make sports fun again.

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RECOMMEND TO WATCH / LISTEN TO NEXT:
► How Can I Get My Kid to do Chores (https://youtu.be/f-agVk8Oyt0)
► Child-Led Learning (https://youtu.be/P0Vn1RrqT8k)
► 10 Parenting Practices to Stop (https://youtu.be/zjdkIeFxdRo)

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Yes, children are great, but they can leave you skint | Sarah Ditum

No wonder Britain’s birth rate is at a record low – being a working parent is so tricky

There is a point in parenting where you ask yourself whether it’s all worth it. In crude financial terms, the answer is probably no. The most well-paid of women aside, it’s routine for couples to find that a mother’s return to work costs almost as much in nursery fees as her wages are worth (and sometimes more). Childcare becomes a patchwork thing: as many sessions in the creche as you can stretch to, hasty parental handovers between shifts, a willing grandparent to pick up the slack if you’re lucky. Always, the low hum of panic that this is the day it all falls to pieces.

When this was my choice to make, my partner and I stretched and strained to make it work, because hanging on until school started would have put a five-year hole in a career that I hadn’t even begun. But there was another option – or there would have been, if I’d weighed this all up pre-pregnancy. Like many of my friends, I could have just not. No babies. No payslip turning to dust in your hand. No begging your childminder for lates when your office needs you just a bit longer. No joy of parenting either, but how can you miss people who haven’t been born?

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Read more: theguardian.com

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Parenting

Kitchen experiments with the kids – just the thing for half-term

Edible slime, jelly worms, ‘unicorn noodles’: what better way to entertain children than by making a mess in the name of science?

The last time I did science in the home with an 11-year-old, something happened that I can’t tell you about until the person whose chair it was has died. That is my abiding conclusion about the natural sciences: they stain, and don’t let anybody ever tell you they won’t.

Nevertheless, I have just undertaken science in the kitchen – nudged by a new book, The Kitchen Science Cookbook by Michelle Dickinson – because I have exhausted all the other ways of getting them to join me there. “This dish reminds me of evenings spent making bechamel with my mother, her apron brushing against my cheek as we spake of fat and its magical alchemy,” said every cookbook ever, but my parenting is much more in the Johnny Ball style: “Kids, you can’t teach them anything, but they learn everything from you.” I’m still in phase one: they will not touch my wisdom with a bargepole. C, 11, will enter the kitchen for anything that ends in a cake, but then we just end up with a load of cake. H, nine, will promise me the moon on a stick, then get distracted by a bee. T, 11, thinks it is emasculating to crack an egg. It wasn’t for the science that I tried a new tack; it was just for the company. Plus it was half-term, and you have to keep them occupied somehow.

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Read more: theguardian.com

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Parenting

5 Reasons Your Child Won’t Play (What You Can Do About It)


5 Reasons Your Child Won’t Play (What You Can Do About It)

The Parenting Junkie will teach us what we can do when our child won’t play. Many parents have written in saying: help my child play. Do you want your child to play alone so you can cook but your child won’t play alone? Did you just finish decluttering the toys but your child won’t play with toys? Do you struggle because your child won’t play independently? In today’s video we will learn 5 reasons children won’t play with toys even though we’ve decluttered and what you can do about it. It can be so frustrating when your kid won’t play or when your kid won’t play alone. Don’t worry, this video has you covered, You can stop worrying that your kid won’t play independently and that your kid won’t play with toys because by the end of this video you’ll have actionable steps that will help foster independent play. Children won’t play and children won’t play alone when the environment is not set appropriately for them to sink into independent play. Children won’t play independently in a decluttered space. But by the end of this video you’ll know what to do to help your child play and what a strew is.

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Here are the 5 Reasons Your Child Won’t Play (and What You Can Do About it):
1 – Not appropriately challenging [0:59]
2 – Too many toys [3:33]
3 – Dependent on others [5:27]
4 – Toys have gone stale [7:25]
5 – Strewing (setting out play invitations) [8:39]

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RECOMMEND TO WATCH / LISTEN TO NEXT:
► Schemas in Early Childhood (https://youtu.be/hHzSj0eMbwM)
► 5 Decluttering Mistakes to Avoid (https://youtu.be/v7Uvrx8RtyE)
► 7 Reasons We Have too Many Toys (https://youtu.be/mmHghjR_6O0)
► How to Encourage Independent Play (https://youtu.be/_QXq5ggNC98)
► Encouraging Creativity in Our Children (https://youtu.be/Lsf1g8lJYW0)

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Intentional Parenting (STOP MEASURING YOUR KIDS)


Intentional Parenting – The 5 Intentions for an Fulfilling Year:

1. CURIOSITY (3:40)
2. COMPETENCE (6:47)
3. CONNECTION (8:33)
4. COMMUNICATION (10:54)
5. CARING (12:47)

The Parenting Junkie is all about intentional parenting. Culture says, measuring your kids is the way to know if you’re on track. But when you consider 2019 goal setting, I want to challenge you in how to set goals. Instead, setting intentions for the new year using the law of attraction for kids may be more fulfilling. Intention setting for kids and setting intentions as a family can definitely manifest better parenting and raising children who feel confident and connected. Raising competent children takes grit, and if you want to raise confident child and know how to raise happy confident child, consider how your communication for kids is. Here’s the how to raising caring children on your mindful parenting journey. Perhaps you came here to know what your 2 year old should know…

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MORE VIDEOS YOU’LL LOVE
► Raising Kids with Grit (https://youtu.be/S8lEjCIF7Jo)
► Connection VS Attention LIVE (https://youtu.be/Mso9-aFEmDY)
► Sharing Isn’t Caring (https://youtu.be/_lsqc9lFP5Q)
► Improve Your Child’s Focus Ability (https://youtu.be/YTYcWpPW2mk)
► Chores & Allowance (https://youtu.be/36NOM0FAhbc)

MOST RECENT TPJ VIDEOS:
► How to Set Up a Baby Play Space (https://youtu.be/mKTZvseXedU)
► How to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth (https://youtu.be/-LK52ksdzMI)
► Schemas in Early Childhood Play (https://youtu.be/hHzSj0eMbwM)

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How to Raise Grateful Children (10 Tips for Teaching Gratitude)


How to Raise Grateful Children (10 Tips for Teaching Gratitude)

The Parenting Junkie shows us today how to raise grateful children. Want to know how to have conversations about Thanksgiving gratitude this holiday season? In a world of instant gratification, teaching kids gratitude can be tricky and difficult. A kids gratitude journal is one of many helpful tips discussed in this week’s video. Gratitude journals are one of the best ways to instill gratitude in kids and adults! Learn how to increase gratitude and to create a gratitude practice in your home. Do you need gratitude practice ideas? We have 10 tips to learn how to be grateful! What is gratitude? Appreciation of the things in life you already have! Gratitude and thankfulness is an important part of life and important to cultivate. Having an abundance mindset or a gratitude mindset is the secret to cultivating a happy life! More tips like, volunteer with family, can help you teach kids how to practice gratitude. Expressing gratitude is one of the ways you can turn a negative mindset into a positive one. Do you have ungrateful kids? Do you want to know how to deal with ungrateful children? Or how to deal with spoiled children? Want to teach an attitude of gratitude to your children? Then tune into today’s video!

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MORE VIDEOS YOU’LL LOVE:

►How to Raise a Child with Manners: (https://youtu.be/1vOjPOLtYeU)

►Forced Apologies (https://youtu.be/Y2XfCSc6MA8)

►Sassy Rude Back Talk https://youtu.be/TwXBHVUM1Ik

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