Thursday, January 22, 2015

Parent shares takeaway from "How Children Succeed"Parent
Paul Tough on Jauary 21, 2015

West parent Erica Carlson 

Last night, West parent Erica Carlson joined hundreds of other parents at the GPS event at the College of DuPage to hear Paul Tough discuss "How Children Succeed Beyond Smart: How Girt, Curiosity and Character Help Kids Thrive."

"I am always enlightened when I attend a GPS event," Carlson said.  "My kids worry when I do because I immediately try to implement everything I heard.  Last evening was no different.  Paul Tough delivered a thought-provoking, research-based program stemming from his book, "How Children Succeed."

Paul Tough
Contrary to conventional wisdom, cognitive skills and IQ are not the best predictors of success in life.  Tough contends that there are character traits that can be learned and practiced that lead to a "growth mindset" and, consequently, long-term success.  The traits he highlighted: zest, grit, self-control, curiosity, optimism, gratitude and social intelligence, are needed when faced with challenges and adversity.

Our children at times are so protected that they aren't able to manage failure.  We need to remember and communicate as parents and educators that learning happens during the struggle.  Parents need to step back and allow our children to solve their own problems.

Another take-away for me was the idea that effort is more important than ability.  Praise becomes authentic to our children and they become more open to risk-taking when the process rather than the product is the focus of our attention.  And in this busy, high stress world sitting down for a family dinner is one of the best things we can do for our kids."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dr Christine Carter former GPS speaker offers
this Happiness Tip: Find a Manifesto

Happiness Tip: Find a Manifesto
Photo by Jon Jordan

Before I wrote The Sweet Spot, I needed a manifesto--something to organize my passion for the project. I started keeping lists of phrases and pieces of advice that captured my message. When I was done writing the book, it was fun to go back and look at all the little lists and edit them down into this manifesto. I hope you are inspired to download the beautiful printable version my publisher created.
If this manifesto doesn't do it for you, find one that does! Or create your own. Having go-to sources for inspiration and motivation can guide us towards those thoughts and behaviors that bring us the most meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction. 

And...I can't resist exclaiming...TODAY IS BOOK LAUNCH DAY!! TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY MY BOOK IS AVAILABLE!! Undeniably more exciting for me than anyone else, but just the same, I hope you will help me spread the word. 

May you be happy today! 



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Here is another good tip from the 
Family Institute at Northwestern University. 
Violent Gaming

 While kids everywhere play violent videogames, parents wonder about negative
 effects from all that shooting, maiming and killing. Some scientific research is
 worth our attention.

 While kids everywhere play violent videogames, parents wonder about negative effects from all that shooting, maiming and killing. Some scientific research is worth our attention.

It’s no surprise that research has documented increased physical and psychological arousal in the aftermath of violent gaming. Of particular concern is the finding that such games result in ruder and more insensitive behavior toward others immediately after the game playing.i The effect has been found to last up to nine minutes — long enough to be an issue if your game-playing youngster rejoins family activity immediately upon leaving the game console. Observe your child’s re-entry after violent gaming. Perhaps there would be benefit from a “cooling down” period — chilling out with a book or non-stimulating TV show — so he or she is better positioned to bring courtesy and sensitivity to others, and to exercise self-control.

Researchers are concerned that over the long term, violent gaming leads to desensitization — violent images stop having any impact after enough regular exposure. There’s evidence that areas of the brain responsible for empathy in particular, show negative changes among teens exposed to violent images over long periods of time, leading to what some researchers describe as a kind of moral immaturity.ii Speculation is that excessive violent gaming may be replacing traditional, positive social experiences in a youngster’s life — hanging out with friends, participating in extra-curricular clubs and activities, reading or watching TV — allowing the games’ values to carry undue influence when it comes to the development of an accurate sense of right and wrong.iii

Parents might be wise to set time limits on violent game play (while endorsing non-violent videogames), and make a point of educating youngsters (through film, television, books and especially conversation) about the suffering that results from even relatively minor violence. The goal is to promote in our sons and daughters the development of empathy and a recognition that senseless violence must never be treated casually or with indifference.


i Barlett, Christopher, et al. How long do the short-term violent video game effects last? Aggressive Behavior, Volume 35, Issue 3, May/June 2009, pages 225–236. 
ii Brock, Bastian et al. Cyber-dehumanization: Violent video game play diminishes our humanity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 48, Issue 2, March 2012, pages 486–491. 
iii Bajovic, Mirjana. Violent video gaming and moral reasoning in adolescents: is there an association? Educational Media International, Volume 50, Issue 3, 2013, pages 177-191.

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