April 16, 2010
by Ellen Galinsky
April 15, 2010
by Morra Aarons Mele
The leap to toddlerhood is both thrilling and upsetting for a parent. Your baby clearly has a mind of his own: you can see the wheels turning in his head 24-7. Little babies are cute but their repertoire is limited. But for a toddler, each day brings something new to learn.
As a young parent working with Ellen Galinsky on Mind in the Making, I sometimes take the life skills to heart a little too much.
For instance, I breathlessly reported to Ellen that my 14 month old was clearly making connections: when he heard a phone ring, or even the sound of my text message chiming, he put his hand to his ear to mimic the phone. I was so proud of my clearly brilliant son and his ability to make rather abstract connections for one his age: connecting the bell of an incoming text message with talking on the phone. Literally the same day I bragged to Ellen, my husband called to tell me our son had an ear infection and that’s why he was touching his ear!! The mommy guilt I felt was astounding.
But mostly, using the skills in Mind in the Making gives me more joy and patience as a mom. It’s almost as if I have a new language with which to interpret my son’s needs.read more
April 14, 2010
Press release from the Council on Contemporary Families:
Chicago, IL, May 14: How do we use what we know? That is the theme of the Council on Contemporary Families’ 13th annual conference this year. In connection with the conference, CCF is releasing a list of research-tested tips for building the seven life skills that children really need—and that parents can teach simply. The tip sheet is based on a preview of Work and Family Institute’s Ellen Galinsky's new book, to be released April 20, which summarizes her eight years-long review of research on child development and interviews with 75 of the leading researchers in this field.
Her advice sheet, included below and available at www.contemporaryfamilies.org, provides one example for how to teach each skill. In short, what works is NOT high-tech, high-cost gadgets but simple skills- and values-focused interactions. Her report is being circulated at the April 16-17, 2010 conference of the Council on Contemporary Families, Augustana College. Rock Island, Illinois. Read Ellen's full tip sheet after the jump.
April 13, 2010
The LeapFrog Community's Learning Team member, Jim Gray, EdD recently wrote a post about the Fred Forward conference from the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media. Ellen Galinsky spoke at that conference. Here's what Jim had to say about it:
Among the many insightful ideas and projects presented at Fred Forward, the Mind in the Making project stands out as having direct, immediate benefit to parents. Through a book, companion website, DVD, and other materials, this project aims to translate the best scientific research on how young children learn into useful lessons for parents and educators. Ellen Galinsky, the author and head of the Families and Work Institute, proposes seven skills that are essential for life success in the 21St Century. These include: Focus and Self Control, Perspective Taking, Communicating, Making Connections, Critical Thinking, Taking On Challenges, Self-Directed and Engaged Learning.
Read the full post on the LeapFrog Learning Team blog.
April 05, 2010
Every few years, there is a local incident of bullying that is so horrible, so beyond our understanding that the local incident escalates to a national incident with continued coverage.
The latest of these occurrences is the tragic story of Phoebe Prince, the 15-year old high school student who moved to South Hadley, Massachusetts from Ireland and committed suicide in January. At the end of March, criminal charges were filed against nine students—six of the teenagers were charged with felonies and three were charged as juveniles, all for bullying.
Much of the news coverage of this incident and others like this one has focused on our attempts to figure out what went wrong and to assign blame. We go over and over the known facts and dig deeper for new facts to try to understand. Is it families with children who bully who are at fault? Is it the school personnel—teachers and administrators—who seemingly stand by and don’t take action when the signs that something is wrong abound? Is it the community—from the law enforcement system to the community culture that are to blame?
I, too, have been asking myself the question of what goes wrong and what can go right. These are especially urgent questions for me because I have spent decades conducting and studying the research on children’s development.read more