What It’s Like to Be Generation Z: 5 Things to Know About Kids This Week

Our curated list of kid-related news for May 27, 2016.

Parker Barry
  • 1. This is what it’s like to be Generation Z. Get the inside scoop on what it means to be a teen today in the in-depth profile of the life of 13-year-old Katherine Pommerening in Wednesday’s Washington Post. Social media is central to Katherine and her friends: “The iPhone is the place where all of her friends are always hanging out. So it’s the place where she is, too. She’s on it after it rings to wake her up in the mornings. She’s on it at school, when she can sneak it. She’s on it while her 8-year-old sister, Lila, is building crafts out of beads. She sets it down to play basketball, to skateboard, to watch PG-13 comedies and sometimes to eat dinner, but when she picks it back up, she might have 64 unread messages.” Pommerening explains some basics to adults: “Over 100 likes is good, for me. And comments. You just comment to make a joke or tag someone.” (13 Right Now: This is what it’s like to grow up in the age of likes, lol and longing)
  • 2. To sleep or not to sleep. Multiple studies on “sleep training” (trying to get a baby younger than 6 months old to sleep through the night) have shown it’s safe and effective, according to an article posted Tuesday on the New York Times’ Well blog. But sleep training is still controversial, as noted in parenting author Sarah Ockwell Smith’s blog rebuttal about the research. Dr. Perri Klass, who wrote the Well article, noted the conflicting feelings about babies’ sleep among parenting circles: “All these researchers agree that parents shouldn’t do anything that makes them uncomfortable; parents know best what their children need. But not-so-subtly, there’s a sense on one side that parents feel pressured and guilted into leaving their tiny babies to cry and cry at night, and on the other, that parents feel pressured and guilted into not letting their children cry for even a moment.” (Parents shouldn’t feel guilty about training babies to sleep)
  • 3. Youngest speller stung in third round; wins our hearts. The Scripps’ National Spelling Bee took place this week, and the star of the show was 6-year-old Akash Vukoti, even though he was knocked out by the word “bacteriolytic” in Round 3. “He was the youngest of the 285 contenders in this year’s competition,” according to an article on NPR about the spelling prodigy — who’s been competing since age 2. Jairam Hathwar, 13, and Nihar Jang, 11, won as co-champions of the bee. Nihar is the youngest winner ever, and Jairam is the second kid in his family to win the bee. (6-Year-Old May Be Out Of Spelling Bee, But This Kid Is A Winner)

  • 4. Music studio especially for kid musicians. More than 8,000 kids who participate in programs at Cleveland-area Boys and Girls Clubs will soon learn the art of music recording, thanks to a slick $40,000 facility, “which really looks like it could compete with just about any small studio in Nashville, Los Angeles or New York City,” according to an article this week on Cleveland.com. “The studio features a ‘jam room’ adorned with posters and photos of everyone from Notorious B.I.G. to Elvis Presley, a separate vocal isolation room and a station where the engineer in training can manipulate the knobs and such on a board that’s tied into a computer that boasts Pro Tools and most of the other digital programs used in modern recording.” (New recording studio will let Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland kids follow their dreams)
  • 5. Kid treats teachers to dinner. Before Cody Dortch left his Oklahoma elementary school for middle school, he wanted to show his appreciation for his six beloved teachers, so he saved enough money to take them all out to a restaurant for dinner. “It took him six months to raise the $200 needed to treat them to a special evening out. He wanted to show them he could work hard for them, like they all had worked hard for him,” according to an article this week on the Good News Network. (Fifth Grader Treats All His Teachers To Nice Dinner Out Before Moving on to Middle School)

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