How do your kids feel about math? While both my kids do very well in math at school, my son will tell you he loves it, while my daughter says that only does she not like it, she’s not good at it to boot. As it turns out, her lack of enthusiasm for the subject could totally be my fault.
A new study from researchers at the University of Delaware’s School of Education and reported in Miller-McCune finds that moms are less likely to talk to their daughters about numbers at a young age, potentially setting them up to have less confidence about them when they reach elementary school.
The research is fascinating, if not troubling. Scientists recorded mothers talking to their children who were between 20 and 27 months old. The moms mentioned numbers twice as much to their sons as their daughters. The number rose to three times as much when the number was attached to a noun — for example, “Here are five raisins.”
Alicia Chang, the lead researcher told Miller-McCune, “By grade school, boys are very confident at math, and girls are saying boys are better at math. The issue isn’t actual performance but perception of competence. We hypothesized that by the time you’re in grade school, you might like math because your mother was more likely to talk to you about it when you were very, very young.”
The researchers don’t think that the omission is conscious, simply parents talking to their children differently. Still, it’s something to be aware of.
What do you think? Does your daughter like math?
Forget planned obsolescence. It looks like technology manufacturers have thought of one better.
Just put your saved-all-my-latte-money-and-rewards-points-to-buy-this iPad into the hands of a toddler and it’s all but guaranteed that you will have to buy another sooner rather than later. Whoever thought of that plan is genius.
At least that’s what I’m thinking after reading about all the new apps and attachments that are coming out just in time for the holidays. Can you say crayon stylus?
Even the Brookstone catalog that arrived in the mail today has an iSomething accessory for kids on almost every page. Everything from a toy helicopter, sing-along microphone to spy robot offers the bonus of being operable via Mommy’s iPod, iPhone and/or iPad.
In other words, they are forcing us to share. Whether we like it or not.
Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I like to keep my pricey technology to myself. My children have plenty to keep them occupied that they don’t need to be half-owners of the phone, iPod or laptop that my husband and I just about managed to get ourselves into. It’s bad enough that our three-year-old iPod got corrupted over the weekend. I don’t think a preschooler who likes to rip it off the charger had anything to do with it, but it pains me nonetheless.
How do you feel about sharing your technology? Are you happy to hand it over once and a while? Or is it just easier to get them their own (and hope it doesn’t break too soon)?
One last question, and I guess this is my underlying hesitation about the whole thing: Do kids really need all this technology at such a young age? Sure, it’s how they will grow up, but does every toy have to be an app?
You’ve made your list and checked it twice but is what you (or Santa) planning to give the child really as safe as you think it is?
Twenty-four seemingly (and not-so-seemingly) innocuous toys have had the dubious honor of being listed in the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s “Trouble in Toyland” report, a survey of toys that don’t meet the standards of safety set the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other health organizations.
While the list isn’t exhaustive, U.S. PIRG shopped a host of toy stores, malls and dollar stores in September and October 2011 nationwide, looking potentially dangerous toys. Using CPSC recalls and other regulatory actions as their guide, the group searched for toys that “posed a potential toxic, choking, strangulation or noise hazard.”
“Choking on small parts, small balls and balloons is still the leading cause of toy-related injury,” said U.S.PIRG’s Nasima Hossain. ”Between 1990 and 2010 over 400 children died from toy-related injuries, but more than half choked on small parts, balloons or balls. While most toys are safe, our researchers still found toys on the shelves that pose choking hazards and other toys that contain hazardous levels of toxic chemicals including lead.”
Toys on the list include a variety of playthings that appeal to kids of all ages including including an Elmo cell phone, a Hot Wheels stunt car, a Tinkerbell watch, a Hello Kitty keychain, a toy-sized Honda motorcycle, and a Whirly Wheel. The full report is an eye-opener, and will certainly give you pause the next time you go toy shopping.
“Parents and toy givers need to remember that while the CPSC is doing a good job, it doesn’t test all toys on the shelves. Consumers should also remember that toys that are not on our list of examples could also pose hazards,” Hossain said. “The message of today is clear. We cannot, must not, weaken the most basic safety rules that protect young children, America’s littlest consumers.”
For me, seeing a toy that we own on the list (the Fisher-Price Elmo cell phone) was a good reality check. I looked at the list never expecting to see something that is in our own toy box, but there it was, listed as a noise hazard. Are any of your child’s toys on the list? Have you ever bought a toy, only to discover that it isn’t as safe as you would have assumed?
When Amanda wrote about the pint-sized bed partner who kept her awake all night (on vacation no less), I felt her pain.
In the case of my house, it looks like our two protesters are determined to kick me and my husband out of our bed every night. Literally. Kicking, punching and all of their other late-night and early morning unconscious flailing that leaves us cowering for cover.
But if we actually retreat — like when we threaten to go into their beds — they stick to us like glue. So I think what they really want is full access to our big bed with the comfy duvet and two parents to cuddle (even if we’re both hanging on to the last one inch of the pillow top with bloody noses). Nothing like being well rested.
We are dealing with two adults, two children and in the worst of times, a dog. It’s a big bed but the extra bodies that are getting longer by the month make it a tight squeeze. Not to mention that since they were little, my kids’ preferred sleeping position is laying perpendicular to me and my husband, so that he has feet pounding his chest and I get a head butting my face.
Still, say what you will about the parenting debate on co-sleeping, I don’t mind it enough to put an end to it. When they were babies, I didn’t encourage cosleeping. I was too afraid of rolling over a little arm and having all those blankets and pillows around them. It wasn’t until they were walking and in beds of their own that I allowed it to happen.
I know, I know. We should have broken this habit long ago. It is a valid point, especially because the path to our bed is now entrenched in their subconscious minds.
But my working mother’s guilt has rationalized it as bonding time. (And sometimes it feels so good to roll over and nuzzle the back of my “baby’s” head.) Anyway, we figure that by the time they find their way to our bed (usually between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.), we have already logged the minimum hours of sleep a parent needs.
So we let them off the hook. My husband jokes that we should just make ours a double-decker king size bed and retreat to the upper level when they invade.
But like I said, the occupiers want to take what we have and expect us to stay along for the ride. *Yawn* And so the #OccupyMomandDadsBed movement grows.
Any of this going on in your home?
As much as I love Halloween, I’m dreading it a bit this year. Halloween falls on a Monday which means that we (and this is a collective, nationwide we) have a very limited amount of time from when the kids get off the bus from school and go to bed to squeeze in a lot of celebrating as well as our day-to-day things – costume wrangling, instrument practicing, trick-or-treating, homework, eating dinner (sorry, even on Halloween the kids have to eat something hot and nutritious).
A Connecticut lawmaker, State Representative Tim Larson, feels our pain. He is proposing a bill that would permanently designate the last Saturday in October as the scariest day of the year. His reasoning is that moving the holiday to the weekend, would make the day safer, less harried and more fun.
“Halloween is fun night for the whole family, but not so much when you have to race home from work, get the kids ready for trick or treating, welcome the neighborhood children, and then try to get everyone to bed for an early school and work morning,” Larson said in a statement.
He’s meeting with some adversity, most notably Connecticut governor Dannel P. Malloy, whose spokesperson told The Hartford Courant, “The Governor is worried about confusing the ghosts, goblins, and witches – so he thinks leaving Halloween on Oct. 31st is the right thing to do. No disrespect intended toward Rep. Larson, of course.”
I think it’s a great idea, although my husband points out that if Halloween was permanently on a Saturday, the opportunity for little and not-so-little goblins to make mischief will be extended. In any case, we don’t live in Connecticut, so it’s a moot point for us for now. Still, I’m hopeful that is an idea that will catch fire.
What do you think? Would you welcome a weekend Halloween celebration?
Some of this year’s incoming 4th graders weren’t even a gleam in their parents’ eyes as the events of September 11, 2001 unfolded (my son included).
And up until now, this first generation of children who didn’t have a lasting, conscious impression of that day might have been too young to even comprehend its impact when the subject has come up since. But as time goes on, the lessons surrounding that day become more teachable and in many ways, even more important to impart.
So how do we explain the significance of 9/11 in the history of our world, our nation, our communities and even within our own families?
Well, I was intrigued to read how the story is unfolding in classrooms around the country. It reassures me to know that resources are being dedicated to developing curriculum and educators are participating in an exchange of lesson plans.
How do you feel about your children learning about 9/11 in school? Have you made it a point to talk about it at home, even with your young ones?