Millions of people—perhaps you’re one of them—have watched viral videos of a Scottish granny collapsing in laughter while she reads to a baby. Comfortable on a sofa with her grandson, Janice Clark keeps cracking up as she tries to read “The Wonky Donkey” and, in a second video recorded a few months later, “I Need a New Bum.”
Even infants get profound cognitive and behavioral benefits from sharing a vivid story.
By Meghan Cox Gurdon
Gone are the days of moms telling their kids to play outside until the streetlights come on. But should they be? Aside from giving parents a break, doctors are saying kids reap a lot of developmental benefits from unsupervised playtime.
The Benefits of Unsupervised Play Will Make You Want to Back Off Your Kids' Activities in A Big Way
By Katie McPherson
I loved Mother’s Day when I was a child. I loved it so much that I once gave a beribboned pot of wild violets and a big paper heart that said, “Happy Mother’s Day!” to a childless neighbor. I didn’t understand why she looked at me strangely until my mom explained that “mother” and “woman” are not synonymous. It came as a shock to realize that not all women are defined by their children.
When I was a child, back in the Parenting Stone Age (a.k.a. the Parentocentric Era), your parents were the most important people in the family. They paid the bills, bought your clothes, prepared the food you ate, took care of you when you were sick, drove you to where you needed to be, tucked you in, and kissed you good night. They were essential.
A COUPLE OF Sundays ago I was in the park with my grandson who is five. It was a pleasant winter’s afternoon, and the swings and slides were crowded with children of all sizes, clambering here and there. The sound of chatter and laughter, as well as one or two sobs and wails, could be heard from all sides.
'Helicopter parents: If you let your child fall down they might just learn to get back up again'
My parents were extraordinary. They still are. They were ahead of their time in so many ways. Sure, we sat—or stood—anywhere in the car we wanted, but whatever, they got so many things right. They got them right without the luxury or convenience of the internet and a million how-tos at their fingertips.
Parenting seemed simpler in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Sans psychologists or childrearing seminars, discipline was strict and swift. While contemporary moms and dads may reject their predecessors’ authoritarian ways, studies confirm that children raised during this parenting golden age were not only more obedient and respectful than today’s children, but also happier.
"With the exception of the imperial offspring of the Ming dynasty and the dauphins of pre-Revolutionary France, contemporary American kids may represent the most indulged young people in the history of the world. It’s not just that they’ve been given unprecedented amounts of stuff—clothes, toys, cameras, skis, computers, televisions, cell phones, PlayStations, iPods....They’ve also been granted unprecedented authority."