How to Help Your Kid Deal with a Bad Teacher: 5 Things to Know About Kids This Week

Our curated list of kid-related news for March 18, 2016.

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Dana Villamagna, Toca Magazine Writer
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  •  1. My teacher is so mean! The end of the school year is just months away, and some kids may be all too happy to say goodbye to a teacher with whom they don’t get along. An article published this week on Time.com outlines how parents can support a kid who’s at odds with a teacher. Author Carey Wallace suggests that sometimes tensions between students and teachers can be an opportunity for your kid to learn real-world workplace skills, yet parents may need to guide those lessons. Wallace includes three different approaches, depending on whether a kid’s in elementary, middle or high school. At any age, clinical psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker says in the article, parents should “listen to kids’ feelings, acknowledge them, and acknowledge life is sometimes unfair.” If nothing helps, Hartwell-Walker advised, “ultimately, you may need to protect your child by changing classes.” (How to talk to your kids about that bad teacher)
  • 2. Pro baseball player: It’s me and my kid, or I quit. White Sox baseman Adam LaRoche announced this week that he was “stepping away from baseball” with one year left on a two-year, $25 million contract. An executive for the White Sox had asked LaRoche to keep his 14-year-old son, Drake, away from the clubhouse more (although he had no complaints about Drake’s behavior while there) and that wasn’t acceptable to this dad, who grew up around his own pro baseball dad’s team. According to the article in the Washington Post (he previously played for the Washington Nationals), “Drake was a regular in the Nationals’ clubhouse and on the field at spring training … and at Nationals Park for much of the season during LaRoche’s four seasons in Washington. Players loved him and joked that Drake’s life was cooler than theirs. Bench coach Randy Knorr called him the the team’s ‘26th man.’” (The Reason ex-Nat Adam Roche is retiring? His son isn’t as welcome in Sox clubhouse. )
  • 3. Child’s pose is for kids, too. Yoga for kids has made its way into more schools and health care settings than ever before. In 2012, 1.7 million kids in America participated in yoga, according to an article this week in U.S. News & World Report. That’s over 400,000 more young yogis than in 2007. While there’s no research yet on the overall physical safety of yoga for kids, studied effects thus far are positive: “Research on yoga programs offered in clinical and classroom settings have found decreased levels of depression, stress and anger, plus improved coping skills… in addition to improved strength, flexibility and fitness.” Yoga enthusiasts suggest finding a yoga teacher who’s trained to work with kids. “School-aged kids hold poses for a lot less time than adults, and even teens will hold poses for less time,” said Colorado yoga therapist Michelle Fury, as quoted in the article. “Physiologically, that’s what’s needed for their bodies, because they’re growing and you don’t want to hold them in poses for a long time. It’s not good for their bones and their muscle growth.” (Making Yoga Kid-Friendly)
  • 4. Design for kids with differences. Oliver Scheier, 8, wanted to wear jeans like other kids at school. But he wears leg braces, which made jeans difficult. “I was really faced with a decision of whether I let him go to school knowing he wouldn’t be able to go to the bathroom on his own, he wouldn’t be able to wear his leg braces,” said his mom Mindy, in an article in this week’s USA TODAY. “Or do I tell my 8-year-old that he can’t wear the same thing as the other kids?” A fashion designer professionally, Mindy decided to adapt clothes to Oliver’s needs. The Runway of Dreams project now designs clothes with buttons, Velcro and other adjustments that make it possible for kids who need easier-wear clothing to have more options. She bases the modifications on requests she received from parents and kids, and the changes can make a big difference, as seen in the video posted with the article. The brand Tommy Hilfiger is now part of the project, and there are plans to work with others in the fashion industry. Runway of Dreams’ first fashion show is scheduled for June 9 in New York City. (This mom is changing fashion for the differently-abled)

  • 5. American teen wows Russian Ballet. Since moving from Oregon to Moscow to study ballet at the famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Harper Ortlieb, 15, has impressed fellow students and teachers. According to an article by the Associated Press (via Newsela) “the famous ballet academy has 84 students from other countries. Few are as young as Harper and few join the regular Russian students.” But this American teen has been selected to do more because of her talent and work ethic. “When children are talented, regardless of their nationality, they are alike in some way in how they approach what they do,” said one of her instructors. Ortlieb, who lives with her mom in Moscow and Skypes with her dad at home in Oregon, takes her time at the Bolshoi very seriously: “It’s been very difficult, but with that comes strength and with that I improve.” (To Russia with love: American teen follows dream into Bolshoi Ballet)

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