At this point it seems the evidence is overwhelming—new studies seem to arrive on our desks each week that suggest simply spending time in green spaces can improve our health, both mentally and physically. As avid outdoors people, we instinctively know that, but it’s always nice to have science confirm our suspicions. And recently, researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark published yet another study about the outside/good health connection that may provide the most conclusive evidence yet. Getting outside, walking around, hearing the rustle of trees, feeling the wind on our face, the rain on our backs, the sun on our skin—the more we do that as kids, the happier we are as adults, their study suggests. And this was one heck of a study.

From 1985 until 2013, the researchers combed data from one million Danish residents. They looked at everything from income to educational level, history of familial mental illness, as well as how much green space surrounded where the residents had grown up. Because they had so much data to work with, the researchers were able to try and control for socioeconomic factors—kids who grow up wealthier probably have more access to green space, for example. Yet even factoring those discrepancies in, researchers found that being raised surrounded by nature as a child meant a 55 percent lower incidence of developing mental health issues as adults. Even better, it seemed that the more time children spent in nature, the better as far as mental health outcomes were concerned.

If we were talking about a new medicine that had this kind of effect the buzz would be huge—these results suggest that being able to go for a walk in the park as a kid is just as impactful.

The researchers were able to use satellite data to examine how much green space surrounded the residences of the subjects in the study. It was as simple as noting that kids who grew up in areas surrounded by more visible vegetation meant better mental health outcomes as adults. Wilderness, public parks, even urban green spaces, it didn’t seem to matter. The ramifications could be massive for future city and regional planning.

“There is increasing evidence that the natural environment plays a larger role for mental health than previously thought,” said Kristine Engemann, who led the study. “Green space seemed to have an association that was similar in strength to other known influences on mental health, like history of mental health disorders in the family, or socioeconomic status.”

What the study can’t show, however, is why this should be the case. Is it simple proximity to trees and vegetation? Or is it likely that kids who had access to more natural environments were more likely to be outside, getting excercise, perhaps doing so in groups and forming strong social bonds that they carried with themselves to adulthood? Maybe spending time in nature taught self-reliance, resilience, patience.

Or could it be that something in nature speaks to us in a way that won’t show up on a scientific study? Doctors are prescribing nature walks for patients to help with chronic physical ailments. Mountain biking groups are healing mental illness sufferers. Surfing is a very real salve for veterans with severe PTSD and physical ailments. It probably shouldn’t be so surprising that growing up in a natural environment would also have powerful health benefits.

Perhaps there’s simply a real physiological connection to being more in tune with the natural world. It’s certainly something we feel when camping, when in the middle of the sea, when scaling a mountain peak, or even when lounging next to a lake.

“If we were talking about a new medicine that had this kind of effect the buzz would be huge,” said Kelly Lambert, a neuroscientist at the University of Richmond. “But these results suggest that being able to go for a walk in the park as a kid is just as impactful.”


via Matador Network: I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT if we want to make the world a more understanding place, we need to start with children. They are the impressionable ones that are still forming their perceptions of the world, and it’s so important for them to have positive role models and good influences in their lives. Not just in reference to religious and racial differences, promoting tolerance applies to gender, physical/intellectual disabilities, size, shape, and everything in between.

1. Promote openness and respect by demonstrating empathy and compassion through your words and actions. Besides not letting your child bully or tease someone else, watch what you say yourself! Treat others with respect, and your child will, too. Even comments about your own body (I feel fat, my brown/red/blonde hair is so ugly) can lead a child to make judgments about people in the world around him or her.

2. Encourage self-confidence. A child who is confident about him/herself will be more likely to embrace differences and see the value in others.

3. Honor traditions and learn about others’ traditions. Celebrate your family’s traditions and explore other holiday and religious celebrations that are outside of your own traditions and comfort zone.

4. Give them experiences with diverse populations. Sign your child up for summer camp, a workshop, or child care with a diverse group of kids. In my school district, we have a peer model program in our special education preschool classes so that typically developing 4 year olds in the community have the opportunity to go to preschool with children with special needs. Both the typically developing and the children with special needs can learn acceptance.

5. Travel with your kids (or move to another state or country). Allowing your children to grow experience a new and different environment will at the very least broaden their worldview and help them understand that people around the world are different. For more on this, check out Karen Banes’ article about the educational value of long term travel with kids.

6. Talk about differences respectfully. Talk about the differences among your family and friends (hair color, skin color, personal likes and dislikes), and use the opportunity to talk about how it’s good that people are different. You could also discuss how people are the same as well (i.e. you have blonde hair and your friend has brown hair, but you are both girls and you both have two eyes, two ears, one mouth, etc.).

7. Respond to children’s questions, even if you don’t have a “good” answer. Kids can ask hard questions, but your silence can teach a child that it’s not okay to talk about differences or “uncomfortable” topics. Even if you don’t know what to say, tell him or her that you will get back to them later with an answer. And be sure that you do.

Websites:

Tolerance4kids.com – Informational site for parents and caregivers.
Tolerance.org – Teaching Tolerance is focused on reducing prejudice and creating tolerance in school. They were founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and provide free materials to teachers in the U.S. and abroad. Many of the resources are good for parents as well.

Do you have any suggestions for teaching children tolerance and acceptance?


Using chopsticks to eat brings many benefits to us such as coordination training, effective weight loss and reduced risk of choking.

Therefore, it is a wise choice for parents to teach chopstick skills to their little ones.

Learning chopsticks however is a challenging quest to many adults. It gets even tougher when it comes to teaching chopsticks skills to kids due to their lack of fine motor skills.

If you are trying to figure out how to teach kids to use chopsticks, trying using some assistive tools to help you instead.

Watch this video now for the smarter ways to help you kids in learning chopsticks.


Do you remember back in the days when making friends was a child’s play?

In the following video, these modern kids are asked to meet new friends when they see some one dines alone in a restaurant.

These innocent and kind kids will show you how easy is it to make friend with some one you have just met.

Watching how these kids making friends with the lonely strangers could be the most heart-warming thing you will see to make your day.

Are your children able to meet new friends as effortlessly as these kids do? Comment below to share with us now!

Remember when making friends was child's play?

Remember when making friends was child's play? Credit: Campaign to End Loneliness

Posted by Bored Panda on Thursday, May 10, 2018


As parents, it is our responsibilities to teach children the right values, various life skills, and the essential knowledge for them to succeed in life.

Out of so many things for kids to learn, it might be challenging for parents to set their priorities right when it comes to teaching their children.

If you are concerned whether are you missing out any important life lessons to teach to your kids, the following video is for you.

This video is a great guide to help you decide what to teach children and what are the things that they should have known at the age of 10.

Watch the video now and share it with your friends if you find it helpful!

10 Things Children Should Know By Age 10

10 Things Children Should Know By Age 10

Posted by David Wolfe on Saturday, March 17, 2018


The sense of humor is said to be one of the most important qualities in human being for the many benefits that it brings to one. With a good sense of humor, one can live healthier both physically and emotionally due to his or her optimistic attitude. It is also extremely helpful when it comes to networking and reinforcing relationships with the people around us.

You might think that the sense of humor is only important to the adults, but surprisingly, it is equally as important to your kids! Instilling kids’ humor early on in life will help them to take up challenges in life much easier as they grow up.

Kids’ humor can be observed in children as young as babies. If you are keen to explore on how to develop a sense of humor in your kids, check out the following article to find out how your kids can develop their sense of humor.

Via The Conversation | How children develop a sense of humour

Try a pun or some sarcasm on a toddler and you’re likely to draw a blank stare. Babies can be even harder to impress – ignoring your best clown impressions while laughing at some completely random event. Of course, children aren’t completely humorless. But what do they find funny at different ages and when can we expect them to get things like sarcasm and irony?

My two-year-old son has recently started grabbing my nose and pretending to throw it in the kitchen bin while laughing hysterically. It may not be a joke that I’m likely to try at my next dinner party, but it shows that his sense of humour is developing.

The main element needed for humour to evolve in children is socialisation. Children must understand that they are sharing an experience with another person before they can begin to establish a sense of humour. We typically do this by laughing and sharing reactions together – a process that effectively starts as soon as a newborn can engage in eye contact and smiling. The psychologist Lev Vygotsky believed that humorous social interactions of this type actually facilitates a child’s cognitive development.

However, a child needs to posses a few basic cognitive skills to communicate jokes in the first place (beyond just pulling a funny face). The most important ones are imagination, the ability to take a different perspective and language. Because these abilities tend to develop at different rates in different children – and continue to grow and change throughout adolescence and adulthood – there is no firm theory that can pinpoint specific, age-related stages of humor development.

Language

Almost all types of humor involve a realization of incongruity between a concept and a situation. In other words, we laugh when things surprise us because they seem out of place. Take for example the following joke: “A horse walks into a bar and the barman says ‘why the long face’”? This is partly funny because horses don’t normally walk into bars. But the punchline “why the long face” is amusing because we first don’t get why the horse would be sad. We then suddenly realize that there are two meanings of the expression – horses also literally have long faces.

It may therefore seem that language is a prerequisite for humour. Infants without language and younger children with limited language typically enjoy physical humour, such as a game of peek-a-boo. But such simple jokes, involving less cognitive skills than language-based jokes, are also about incongruity realisation. Peek-a-boo has an element of surprise – someone suddenly appearing out of nowhere.

Indeed, many researchers argue that it is communication that is key – and that humour actually facilitates the process of learning a language.

Imagination

Imagination plays a big part in spotting incongruity. It helps children place themselves somewhere different, to enact social roles that they normally wouldn’t, and even to pretend that their nose has come off of the body.

Imagination begins to appear in children around 12-18 months. Interestingly, this corresponds with the time when children are starting to copy parent’s jokes – making them more active in the production of their own brand of humor. Indeed, children as young as seven months can deliberately repeat any behaviors that elicit laughs, such as a funny face or a game of peek-a-boo.

A developing imagination is important for a child to eventually be able to produce their own jokes. This starts to happens by around two years of age, with jokes often being object-based, such as placing underwear on the head, or conceptual, such as claiming the “pig says moo”.


When making up their own jokes, children often draw inspiration from whatever they are learning about. Importantly, this helps them process social rules. For example, my son often jokes that his friend Lilly “pooped on the floor”. This is because potty training and excrement is at the forefront of his life right now. Joking about it is a good way to learn about the social rituals and emotions that go along with this process – particularly in dealing with accidents.

Perspective and deception

Another cognitive skill that helps children develop humor is an understanding of how the mind works. Knowing that different people can have access to different knowledge or mental states – and that some can have false beliefs or be deceived – is important. For example, when parents pretend to be oblivious to a child sneaking up to scare them, this is actually an example of a child understanding deception.

Indeed, some research has shown that this knowledge is crucial for children to understand more complicated jokes involving sarcasm and irony. One study showed that some children as young as three (but typically around five) are able to understand some forms of irony. In the experiment, children watched a puppet show and were asked questions about what they saw. An example of irony was when one puppet broke a plate and the other commented, “your mum will be very happy”. Some children could laugh and understand that this wasn’t literal and that the mum would in fact not be happy at all.

Other research argues that the understanding of irony develops through experience with humour itself rather than perspective taking or knowledge of deception. Joking is social and cultural, so a part of this process is having to learn through social interaction.

When children have developed a basic understanding of others and an imagination they can use their humour to explore possible and actual emotions. For example, by hurling invisible food around and yelling in glee, “I’m messy” a child can get a parent to act out a scenario in which they pretend to be angry. The joke enables them to explore anger safely.

So when it comes to children’s humor, we need to be patient. And thank goodness for that – those Disney and Pixar movies would be so much harder to sit through without the off-color jokes that go over the children’s heads. For now, we enjoy just stealing noses.


Were you aware that your kids are born Scientist? All their curious exploration and destructive experiments in life are the little experiments that nurture the scientific spirits in them!

“An adult Scientist is a kid who never grow up” – Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Instead of trying to teach Science for kids, let kids be kids and let them explore Science with limited restrictions in their daily life!

You will be surprised on how adventurous your little Scientists could be.

Check out the following video now a speech by Neil deGrasse Tyson to talk about Science for kids.

Comment below to share your thoughts with us now!

Neil deGrasse Tyson – Let Kids Be Kids

From trouble-maker to problem-solver: this is why you should let your kids destroy the house.Speaker: Neil deGrasse Tyson for the Space Foundation

Posted by Goalcast on Monday, March 12, 2018


Being a parent is not easy, and at times it gets especially challenging to keep your rage in check when your forgetful kids FORGET things again.

To be fair to our children, it really isn’t the child’s fault for not completing their homework because they simply FORGOT about it. However, it is still a tough issue where many parents struggle to tackle because obviously, reminding a million times isn’t going to help the situation.

A notable way of handling this issue as a parent, is to understand how our children’s minds work – how their brains are wired to operate definitely affects our kids’ memories, and how well they actually do remember.

Check out this article now for the researches done on forgetfulness in kids and why are parents playing important roles on helping their forgetful kids work on their memories power.

Via The Conversation: Parents, stop nagging kids not to forget – set visual cues instead

Every day, we have to remember intentions to perform specific tasks in the future. We may need to remember to buy milk on the way home from work, to return a book to the library next week, or take a certain pill at 8am every day. Psychologists call this “prospective memory”.

This form of memory is notoriously fallible, accounting for 50-80% of our everyday memory problems. To compensate, we often set ourselves reminders in the form of lists or alarms.

Young children can be very forgetful. And no matter how hard we try to get kids to realise they’re going to forget, rarely will they compensate for their memory errors on their own. They may need reminding to make their bed before leaving the house, for instance, or to complete their maths homework before class.

Children develop the ability to compensate for memory failures only gradually as they get older. And it’s not until the late primary school years that they begin to set visual cues as reminders in a strategic way, when they anticipate they are most likely to forget.

In our recent study, children between the age of seven and 13 played a computer game where they needed to remember to perform either one or three future actions. Then, we gave them the option to set themselves reminders if they wanted to.

When we asked children how they thought they would do in the game, kids of all ages recognised that their performance would be worse when there were more future actions to remember. This is not surprising, as previous research has shown that even children as young as three know longer lists of items are harder to remember than shorter ones.

What was surprising, however, was the fact that only the older children – around age nine and above – set themselves more reminders when they knew their memory would fail them.

One implication is that if you ask young children to do several things, they may struggle to know which things need a reminder and which ones they will remember by themselves.

These results are in line with other research showing that children only begin to compensate for their expected memory failures by around age nine or ten. Although children around six or seven years of age can distinguish between easy and hard items to learn for a memory test, only by around age nine or ten do they actually begin to study hard items more than easy items.

There appears to be a fundamental disconnect between what young children know about their cognitive limitations, and what they actually do to lessen the impact of these limitations.

Together, these results suggest that simply making younger children aware of their likely memory failures – by warning them that they might forget to bring home a note from school, for instance – is unlikely to make any difference to their memory performance. Even younger children are likely to be well aware of their potential memory failures already.

So instead of nagging younger kids “not to forget”, and trusting the power of the child’s developing memory alone, try to help them “offload” as much of the work as possible.

One way to do this is to create various external reminders that enable memories to be triggered when they are most needed. Placing a timetable of their weekly household chores on their bedroom door, for instance, alleviates their need to remember these actions by themselves.

Once a child is expected to pack his or her own school bag, placing important items in conspicuous locations (such as library books next to the front door) can activate the intention to bring them along.

Recently, psychologists have turned their attention to the various productive ways children and adults can use the external environment like this to “offload” cognitive work, and help bolster performance. Making lists, creating timetables, and placing to-be-remembered items in eye-line are just some examples.

Young children, who are forgetful at the best of times, may be among the most likely to benefit from these offloading strategies if we can help them learn how to use them.


Nowadays, stress, tension and anxiety are no longer the issues faced by solely adults.

Kids are reported to be able to recognise and feel stress at as early as their first grades.

Moreover, the kids’ stress problem has be seen to rise to the top health concern according to a national poll held by the American Psychological Association.

When it comes to stress in kids, parents play a key role to pick up the symptoms of stress and step in to help find the right stress relief for their kids.

All parents should start to pay more attention to their kids when they notice signs of moodiness, irritability, crying, complaining, withdrawal from activities and changes in patterns of sleeping or eating.

What should you do when you identify symptoms of stress in your kids? Watch this video to find the ways of stress relief for kids now!


via ResearchGate: Children with harsh parents were more influenced by the opinion of their peers.

In a study that tracked 1,500 students beginning in seventh grade, researchers found that those who were parented harshly were more likely by ninth grade to place more importance on their peer group than other responsibilities, including obeying their parents’ rules. This meant they were more likely to engage in risky behaviors in eleventh grade, with males seeing greater delinquency like hitting and stealing, and females more frequent early sexual behavior.

We spoke to lead author Rochelle F Hentges about the study.

ResearchGate: What motivated this study?

Rochelle Hentges: We wanted to better understand how and why some children leave education early, either by dropping out of high school or not completing college. Prior research has indicated that children growing up in harsh or adverse environments are more likely to drop out. But we’re still not sure what it is about these environments that affect educational achievement. Evolutionary theories have suggested that, because harsh environments can make survival uncertain, individuals growing up in harsh environments are primed to try and capitalize on immediate rewards rather than focusing on long-term goals or outcomes. For example, research has found that children growing up in harsh or unstable environments are more likely to take a smaller, but immediate reward (two M&Ms) instead of waiting to get a larger reward (five M&Ms). Many of the messages that children get about why education is important are related to long-term goals, like getting into a good college or getting a better-paying job. I hypothesized, based on this evolutionary theory, that children growing up in environments with harsh parenting would be less likely to complete high school or go to college.

RG: What do you consider to be harsh parenting?

Hentges: In our study, harsh parenting was considered to be acts of verbal or physical aggression, such as yelling, name-calling, shoving, or threatening the child.

RG: What were the results of your study?

Hentges: We found that harsh parenting in seventh grade (around age 12-13) predicted an extreme peer orientation in eighth grade. An extreme peer orientation means that the child is more influenced by what their peers think or want instead of their parents. For example, they’re more likely to blow off doing homework if a friend calls and wants them to hang-out and they’re more likely to disobey parents’ rules if it means going along with what their friends want to do. This extreme peer orientation predicted higher delinquency for both boys and girls and early sexual behavior for girls in eleventh grade. For boys, higher delinquency predicted lower educational attainment at age 21, while for girls it was early sexual behavior that predicted lower educational attainment. When we ran our analyses, we controlled for prior standardized test scores, GPA, and students’ beliefs about how important school was to them. We also controlled for other potential contextual factors that might have influenced educational attainment, like race, family income, and the parents’ education level.

RG: How did you conduct the study?

Hentges: We used a pre-existing dataset from the Maryland Adolescent Development in Context Study that had collected information from close to 1,500 students beginning in seventh grade. The sample was collected in a large county in Maryland near Washington, D.C. and was diverse in terms of race, income, and geographical location (urban, rural, and suburban).

RG: How does the peer relationships of children with harsh parenting differ to those without?

Hentges: We used a continuous scale of harsh parenting that ranged from very little to a lot. We found that children who were exposed to higher levels of harsh parenting were more likely to say that it was okay to break their parents’ rules in order to keep their friends and that they spent more time on activities with friends instead of other things they should be doing, like homework or chores. So children with harsher parents may be more susceptible to peer pressure.

RG: What do you think schools can do to increase the engagement of these students?

Hentges: Something that is unique about evolutionary life history theory is that it tries to explain why children in harsh environments would focus on immediate rewards instead of long-term goals. If the future is uncertain, there is a certain adaptive value to capitalizing on what’s in front of you rather than putting a lot of resources toward something that might not pay off. So telling students that education is important for their long-term success may motivate children growing up in stable environments with warm, supportive parents. But for other children, this message may not mean as much because they’re focused on surviving and getting through their day-to-day life. One thing that schools may be able to do to increase engagement is to make education more rewarding and fulfilling in the short-term. For example, students often report that they enjoy working with and learning from peers and hands-on projects or experiences, like going to museums and zoos. Importantly, these sorts of classroom activities tend to decrease from elementary to high school. But if we can make school more enjoyable in the short-term, we may be able to keep students engaged in education for longer.