Our curated list of kid-related news for February 19, 2016.
- Dana Villamagna, Toca Magazine Writer
1. Can I have this toy, and that toy, and…. High-tech and hands-on toys created lots of buzz at this week’s Toy Industry Association fair in New York City. The annual four-day event showcased new toys such as 3-D pens, drones, kid-size baking tools and faster-than-ever kid cars. As toy makers tap into kids’ desire to explore through play what the adult world is all about, many new toys feature ways for kids “to mimic Mom and Dad at home,” according to a USA Today reporter at the expo. (Hottest New Toys Let Kids Play Like Adults)
- 2. Teachers who yell: Punishing or motivating? It depends on the student, according to Time magazine’s editor-at-large Belinda Luscombe. In response to a video showing a teacher yelling at a first-grade student recently posted on the New York Times website, Luscombe argues that “for some kids, that teacher’s rant would be a huge setback. For others, merely a hiccup.” She cites adults who say a harsh teacher motivated them, while others were hindered by a teacher’s loud, blunt comments. Are your kids motivated or demotivated by a teacher who yells? (How hard is too hard to push kids?)
- 3. Tomorrow’s cities need today’s kids. This year’s Future City competition challenged 40,000 middle school kids across America to solve pressing problems for future cities, in particular problems related to trash, recycling and other waste issues. This week’s finals in Washington, D.C., hosted 37 teams, where winners Hannah White, 14; Isabel Waring, 12; and Alexa Huerta, 13, from Alabama earned a trip to U.S. Space Camp. The STEM program at these future leaders’ school will receive $7,500. (Alabama’s Academy Science and Foreign Language School Wins Grand Prize 2016)
- 4. But mommy, why do I have to eat vegetables? If your kid asks a lot of questions about why you care what they eat (“Why can’t I skip breakfast? What’s so important about protein? Do I really need a vitamin?”) the Parental Primer on Kids’ Nutrition Questions has the answers. This Q&A article provides a fridge-full of answers for parents who know what they want their kids to eat but can’t explain exactly why. Casey Seidenberg, author of The Super Food Cards, compiled the list for The Washington Post and added some great conversation starters for parents to ask kids some food-related questions, too.
- 5. Self-esteem, yes. Narcissism, no. Parents want to raise a kid with healthy self-esteem, but we walk a fine line between achieving that goal and raising a narcissist, according to an article posted this week on Scientific American. “Narcissism is cultivated by parental overvaluation … Overvaluing parents think their child is smarter than he or she actually is,” wrote researcher Eddie Brummelman. Self-esteem is instead “cultivated by parental warmth: parents expressing fondness and affection for their child,” according to Brummelman, but not touting their child as smarter or better (or worse) than anyone else. (Does Raising Self Esteem Turn Children Into Narcissists?)