Positive Links for Children, Teens and Families during the Coronavirus (#34)

COVID-19 Links 24.11–02.12.2020

Top Links This Week

How to Help Students Focus on What They’re Learning, Not the Grade

This article gives some great tips for parents and teachers about learning during the pandemic. It suggests focusing on the Process of Learning rather than the Products of Education (how we learn rather than what we learned). 

According to teacher Mariela Tyler, "Grades have never served students well; they don’t show a student’s ability to think, write, and problem-solve. They just show which kids have the luxury of finishing their homework at home or on time.” As you consider the value of assessments, your workload, the mental health of yourself and your learners, and the need to develop expert learners, remember that less is more. Fewer, more targeted, and more flexible assignments reduce stress for everyone and give time for reflection, revision, and deeper thinking, leading to better results.”

What Are The Origins Of Mindfulness

I’m a strong believer in teaching Mindfulness to children, tweens and teens but I have run across parents who are suspicious that mindfulness is a subculture of a cult religion practice. This article shows the vast usage of mindfulness practices in multiple religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism and Muslim. I would add the strong ties between Native American Cultures and Mindfulness as well, but it’s not in this article.

New Study Shows Scientists Know the Key to Being Happy

Research, TedTalks and courses on happiness abound these days. Many of the reflections written about in this article draw from that watershed. Here is the short list of keys to happiness that the author lists:

“So, what are the keys to being happier? First, enhance your social connections. Having social connection is apparently the biggest factor affecting happiness per multiple studies as people with close relationships tend to be happier than those who do not. Second, engage in random acts of kindness. According to Simon-Thomas, doing random acts of kindness taps into the natural, basic human impulse to help others, thus triggering the brain's reward system. Helping others literally feels good. Third, express gratitude. Writing down just three things you're grateful for each day offers a long-term increase in happiness and it doesn't have to be anything elaborate. The trick is just to train the mind to look at the positive. Fourth, practice mindfulness.”

Study finds key psychological trait linked to happier families

This is a fairly simple article but it’s point is clear: Families that foster psychological flexibility (as opposed to rigidity) raise happier children. It reminds me a great deal of the research on open vs. closed mindsets and the terms seem very complimentary.

7 Values to Teach Your Child By Age 10

Having designed Values Education Programs for schools dealing with bullying, I am dubious of most articles about teaching values. I adhere to the statement: “Values are caught, not taught.” Most of our values education in schools fail for 3 reasons: 1) Adults can’t define a value in a manner a child can understand its importance, 2) Adults assume the values of the dominant culture are a given, 3) Adults tell values TO kids rather than share them WITH kids. 

I did like the 7 values named in this article and some surprised me: Honesty, Accountability, Curiosity, Respect, Empathy, Determination, Open Communication


This Week’s Links


How to Help Students Focus on What They’re Learning, Not the Grade

This is how many people got sick after the COVID-19 vaccine

Kids Drew What COVID Looks Like — Results Are Hilarious

Coronavirus travel tips: Holiday travel during the pandemic


What Are The Origins Of Mindfulness

Laughing Is Good for Your Mind and Your Body, Here’s What the Research Shows - Neuroscience News

ICU specialist debunking myths, misinformation about COVID-19

Saskatchewan's new mental health minister wants to make a difference

'Six feet isn't a magical number': COVID-19 can spread in restaurants despite businesses taking all precautions, infectious disease expert says


New Study Shows Scientists Know the Key to Being Happy

Study finds key psychological trait linked to happier families


Families May Be Apart For Thanksgiving This Year, But Connections Burn Bright


The science behind expressing gratitude will surprise you

9 Family Apps To Manage Allowance And Chores

10 Books To Help Kids Deal With Stress And Anxiety

11 Games You Can Play Online With Family This Thanksgiving

5 Simple Tools To Use When Anxiety Strikes, From A Psychologist

Jen Rafferty: “Remember your why”


5 Movements That Can Elevate Your Mood

Gratitude Journaling During Times of Uncertainty

7 Values to Teach Your Child By Age 10

Zoom School Is Hurting Kids’ Mental Health


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