Parenting – Suggested Reading

Suggested reading about Montessori Education

Suggested reading about your Toddler

 

 HOW TO TURN THINGS ON THEIR HEADS? TALKING ABOUT EXECUTIVE FUNCTION

TEDx Talk with Adele Diamond, a neoropsychologist about Executive Function.  Ooops, I just uttered the scary word: Executive Function. What are we referring to? Executive Function are those abilities for:

  • Self Control (Can I resist an impulse, wait before I speak);
  • Discipline and perseverance (can I overcome the urge to quit);
  • Creativity (Can I see the connection between ideas)
  • Working memory (Can I hold information and find reasoning);
  • Conceive Ideas to resolve issues, and problem solving;
  • Mental Flexibility (Can I navigate an unforeseen obstacle or changes).

These abilities are indicators of our cognitive control functions.  Dr. Adele Diamond claims in her research that our job as parents is to help our children develop good and healthy executive function. She says frankly that we can be magnificent parents, although we are not perfect parents. “Your humanity is more important than your knowledge of skills.” How?

  • Instill in your child the confidence that he can succeed. Trust him to do it on his own, and he will. Your listening and caring for the child is more important. One of the major sources of stress for children, claims Adele, is the feeling that they are not smart enough, or the message that they will not be successful.
  • When a toddler tries to walk and falls, we never say: “You got a D in Walking today.” Instead we say – Don’t worry, we can get this done, and we will do it together. It is important to communicate that each child will succeed.
  • Children learn more through story telling, dance, art, sport and games. These activities reduce stress and help a child who finds work to be boring, to complete a task. It teaches them persistence.

See the full presentation on You Tube.

 

ADULTS, HOW LONG CAN YOU TRY AND SIT STILL? TALKING ABOUT ADHD

“In recent years there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD”, writes Valerie Strauss (Washington Post reporter for Education).
        Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook, suggests that the reason more children are being diagnosed with ADHD, whether or not they really have it is due to the amount of time kids are forced to sit while they are in school. (Published in TimberNook blog: a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England.)
        Neal Brown, my good friend, and the Head of School (HOS) of Green Acres writes that “[W]hile we know about the rise of ADHD diagnoses among school age children; We also read about the rise of standardized testing in schools across the country; We see the pressures that these tests put on educators to have children spend more time in academic classes…; Despite years of research to the contrary, policy makers still somehow believe that having kids sitting and listening is still the most effective way for them to learn. They discount the vital role that movement and physical activities have in developing children’s brains.”
        “All people in decision-making positions for school policies” writes Angela in her three part series for the Post, “should be required to sit through at least one school day and experience first-hand what is required of children today. Then they will have a better idea of what is appropriate and what isn’t. Then they will start to think about what their decisions mean for real children in real schools. Maybe then, they will begin to value children’s need to move, need to play, and the need to be respected as the human beings that they are.” We cannot discount the need for movement, dance, use music or art, outdoor recess or discovery-based learning experiences. More and more research nowadays support the essence of physical activities and the importance of such activity to the development of the brain. Read More.