Raising Thinking Children and Teens: Guiding Mental and Moral Development

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Games like Wii Fit have even been used to help with patients receiving rehabilitation for knee surgery. Some good educational tools in schools today include online games like Kahoot! Educational games have been proven to have a positive effect on students. Improved learning in educational games include but are not limited to: improved hand eye coordination, memory ability, and visual acuteness. Some of the games only need access to the internet to be played.

This play through learning is a great way to keep students engaged and having fun while learning their math facts or work in other subjects. As well, a recent study in the United Kingdom performed an experiment in hopes of researching if there is a correlation between the use of touch screen devices and brain development in children from ages 6 months to 36 months. In the study they found that the act of scrolling on screens aids with fine motor skills such as stacking blocks. Other skills such under gross motor or language categories had a much less significant effect.

It is common for parents in many Indigenous American communities to use different tools in parenting such as storytelling —like myths— consejos Spanish for advice, in this context , educational teasing, nonverbal communication, and observational learning to teach their children important values and life lessons. Storytelling is a way for Indigenous American children to learn about their identity, community, and cultural history.

Indigenous myths and folklore often personify animals and objects, reaffirming the belief that everything possess a soul and must be respected.

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These stories help preserve language and are used to reflect certain values or cultural histories. Consejos are a narrative form of advice giving that provides the recipient with maximum autonomy in the situation as a result of their indirect teaching style.


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Rather than directly informing the child what they should do, the parent instead might tell a story of a similar situation or scenario. The character in the story is used to help the child see what the implications of their decision may be, without directly making the decision for them.

This teaches the child to be decisive and independent, while still providing some guidance. The playful form of teasing is a parenting method used in some Indigenous American communities to keep children out of danger and guide their behavior. This form of teasing utilizes stories, fabrications, or empty threats to guide children in making safe, intelligent decisions.

For example, a parent may tell a child that there is a monster that jumps on children's backs if they walk alone at night. This explanation can help keep the child safe because instilling that alarm creates greater awareness and lessens the likelihood that they will wander alone into trouble. In Navajo families, a child's development is partly focused on the importance of "respect" for all things as part of the child's moral and human development.

Nonverbal communication is much of the way that children learn about such "respect" from parents and other family members. For example, in a Navajo parenting tool using nonverbal communication, children are initiated at an early age into the practice of an early morning run through any weather condition. On this run, the community uses humor and laughter with each other, without directly including the child—who may not wish to get up early and run—to promote the child's motivation to participate and become an active member of the community.

Learning Objectives

This practice is known as LOPI, Learning by Observing and Pitching In , where children are integrated into all types of mature daily activities and encouraged to observe and contribute in the community. This inclusion as a parenting tool promotes both community participation and learning.

In some Mayan communities, young girls are not permitted around the hearth, for an extended period of time since corn is sacred. Despite this being an exception to the more common Indigenous American practice of integrating children into all adult activities, including cooking, it is a strong example of observational learning.

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These Mayan girls can only see their mothers making tortillas in small bits at a time, they will then go and practice the movements their mother used on other objects, such as the example of kneading thin pieces of plastic like a tortilla. From this practice, when a girl comes of age, she is able to sit down and make tortillas without any explicit verbal instruction as a result of her observational learning.

Family planning is the decision regarding whether and when to become parents, including planning, preparing, and gathering resources. Prospective parents may assess among other matters whether they have access to sufficient financial resources, whether their family situation is stable, and whether they want to undertake the responsibility of raising a child. Reproductive health and preconception care affect pregnancy, reproductive success, and the physical and mental health of both mother and child. A woman who is underweight , whether due to poverty, eating disorders , or illness, is less likely to have a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby than a woman who is healthy.

Similarly, a woman who is obese has higher risks of difficulties, including gestational diabetes. During pregnancy , the unborn child is affected by many decisions made by the parents, particularly choices linked to their lifestyle. The health, activity level and nutrition available to the mother can affect the child's development before birth. Other mothers, especially if they are poor or abused , may be overworked and may not be able to eat enough, or not able to afford healthful foods with sufficient iron, vitamins, and protein, for the unborn child to develop properly.

Newborn parenting, is where the responsibilities of parenthood begins. A newborn's basic needs are food, sleep, comfort and cleaning which the parent provides.

Developmental Milestones for High-Schoolers

An infant's only form of communication is crying, and attentive parents will begin to recognize different types of crying which represent different needs such as hunger, discomfort, boredom, or loneliness. Newborns and young infants require feedings every few hours which is disruptive to adult sleep cycles. They respond enthusiastically to soft stroking, cuddling and caressing. Gentle rocking back and forth often calms a crying infant, as do massages and warm baths.

Newborns may comfort themselves by sucking their thumb or a pacifier. The need to suckle is instinctive and allows newborns to feed. Breastfeeding is the recommended method of feeding by all major infant health organizations. Other alternatives include feeding breastmilk or formula with a cup, spoon, feeding syringe, or nursing supplementer.

Attachments develop immediately and a lack of attachment or a seriously disrupted capacity for attachment could potentially do serious damage to a child's health and well-being.

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Physically, one may not see symptoms or indications of a disorder but the child may be emotionally affected. Studies show that children with secure attachment have the ability to form successful relationships, express themselves on an interpersonal basis and have higher self-esteem [ citation needed ]. Conversely children who have caregivers who are neglectful or emotionally unavailable can exhibit behavioral problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder or oppositional defiant disorder [55] Oppositional-defiant disorder is a pattern of disobedient and defiant behavior toward authority figures.

Toddlers are small children range between 12 and 36 months old who are much more active than infants and become challenged with learning how to do simple tasks by themselves. At this stage, parents are heavily involved in showing the small child how to do things rather than just doing things for them; it is usual for the toddler to mimic the parents. Toddlers need help to build their vocabulary, increase their communication skills, and manage their emotions. Toddlers will also begin to understand social etiquette such as being polite and taking turns.

Toddlers are very curious about the world around them and eager to explore it.


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They seek greater independence and responsibility and may become frustrated when things do not go the way they want or expect. Tantrums begin at this stage, which is sometimes referred to as the 'Terrible Twos'. Parents of toddlers are expected to help guide and teach the child, establish basic routines such as washing hands before meals or brushing teeth before bed , and increase the child's responsibilities.

It is also normal for toddlers to be frequently frustrated. It is an essential step to their development. They will learn through experience; trial and error. This means that they need to experience being frustrated when something does not work for them, in order to move on to the next stage. When the toddler is frustrated, they will often behave badly with actions like screaming, hitting or biting.

Parents need to be careful when reacting to such behaviors, giving threats or punishments is not helpful and will only make the situation worse. Regarding gender differences in parenting, data from the US in states that, on an average day, among adults living in households with children under age 6, women spent 1.


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By contrast, men spent 23 minutes providing physical care. Younger children are becoming more independent and are beginning to build friendships.

Intellectual and Cognitive Development in Children and Teens

They are able to reason and can make their own decisions given hypothetical situations. Young children demand constant attention, but will learn how to deal with boredom and be able to play independently. They also enjoy helping and feeling useful and able. Parents may assist their child by encouraging social interactions and modelling proper social behaviors. A large part of learning in the early years comes from being involved in activities and household duties. Parents who observe their children in play or join with them in child-driven play have the opportunity to glimpse into their children's world, learn to communicate more effectively with their children and are given another setting to offer gentle, nurturing guidance.

Parents are expected to make decisions about their child's education. Parenting styles in this area diverge greatly at this stage with some parents becoming heavily involved in arranging organized activities and early learning programs. Other parents choose to let the child develop with few organized activities.