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December 19, 2016

This week’s family-re­­lated news coverage included suggestions for parents on how they can provide happy memories for their children during the holidays while meeting their children’s developmental needs, an in-depth study of how the distinction between the online world and real life is fading for the youngest members of Generation Z, strong support for “play” in the early years as essential for human development, research relating to understanding children’s ability to infer and reason about people’s mental states, research on the long-term positive effects of early education, findings that career counseling during college provides an overall better experience for students and finally some tips for parents on how to help their kids act on their generous spirits during the holidays.

What Children Need Even More Than Presents This Holiday Season Merete Kropp, The Washington Post, December 5, 2016 During the holidays, the developmental priorities and needs of children may become buried under the mountain of expectations we place on our families and ourselves. Although parents intend to build amazing experiences and memories for their families, the effort to achieve that often overshadows the things kids need most.

Their Tube Jessica Contrera, The Washington Post, December 7, 2016 When every moment of childhood can be recorded and shared, what happens to childhood?

The Big Problem with Early Childhood Education Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post, December 12, 2016 Nancy Carlsson-Paige, early childhood education expert and a founding member of a nonprofit called Defending the Early Years, explains how the continued emphasis on academics — and lack of sufficient play — for our youngest students may not be the best way to educate them.

Early Family Life May Be Tied To ‘Mind-Reading’ Ability Tania Lombrozo, NPR, December 12, 201 Research by Rory Devine and Claire Hughes, digs into the relationship between false belief understanding and four features of a child’s home environment: parental socioeconomic status, number of siblings in the home, the extent to which parents use mental state terms in talking with their child, and the parents’ “mind-mindedness” — that is, their tendency to view their child as a psychological agent, as reflected in the way they talk to or about their child.

How Investing in Preschool Beats the Stock Market, Hands Down Eric Westervelt, NPR, December 12, 2016 Research has found “…enduring positive effects of quality pre-K on a lot of things, including future earnings, health, IQ and crime reduction…bottom line here stronger, fuller, richer lives” for children and families.

Students Who Get Better Career Guidance Remember College More Fondly Mayra Linares, NPR, December 15, 2016 A new survey of 11,483 college graduates…found graduates who reported “very helpful” campus career-services experiences were 5.8 times more likely to say their university prepared them for life after college, 3.4 times more likely to recommend their school and 2.6 times more likely to donate to their alma mater than graduates who found their campus career help “not at all helpful.”

Six Ways to Give the Gift of Generosity to Children and Teenagers Ron Lieber, The New York Times, December 16, 2016 This column is an additional seasonal reminder that generosity is a trait that nearly all of us share and hope to imprint on the children and teenagers in our orbit.

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