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With every school shooting, like December’s horrific massacre in Newtown, questions about guns in media and their connection to real-life violence bubble to the surface again. After all, there have been reports that Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza was a fan of the ultra-bloody Call of Duty video game series. But almost 13 years after Columbine, the connection is still murky. What does research really say about the connection between our kids and the gun-heavy imagery they see on screens? What—and how much—should parents do to mitigate aggressive copycat behavior?
My 12-year-old, Rose, was a gymnast for eight years. Seemingly born graceful, she was a “natural,” we were told over and over. Practicing and performing made my girl come alive. Watching her learn a new move, wiping away tears when she nailed a landing at a meet, hosting team parties—it was a joy for me, too. Now, after leaving countless meets with my mascara running, it was over, sooner than either of us had imagined.
Shortly after coming in first place in her division at the state championships, she asked to quit.
Creating a plant-cell collage with a partner seems like fun, and there are benefits to teaming up: “It exposes kids to different learning styles and perspectives,” says Mary Fam, a teacher in Ontario. It can also teach leadership and help kids develop communication skills. But if the kids clash, the dynamics can be dicey. Here's how to keep some potential conflicts at bay:
Her Partner is a Complete Stranger
Your kids are getting older, and so are their grandparents. It can shake kids up to see Nanny or Poppy leave their home and relocate to a care facility. Here's how to make the transition easier on everyone.
Don't go on a guilt trip. It's natural to feel sad if you can't take care of your parents yourself, but try not to wear your sorrow on your sleeve. Your child will pick up on your attitude—and anxiety—about the transition, says Carol Rosenberg, director of the Jewish Senior Life Foundation in Detroit.
No one wants to think about her child alone on the monkey bars, but kindergarten friendships may be even more important than you realize, especially for boys. Boys with high-quality friendships in kindergarten—think lots of sharing, turn-taking, and peaceful ends to squabbles—had fewer behavior problems and better social skills by third grade, according to a study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Since teamwork is a big part of learning, kids who have trouble adapting are at a disadvantage academically. Here's how to move things in the right direction:
You're a mom! Congratulations! Or shall we say, “Welcome to the club.” It's time to bond with total strangers over leaky boobs, poop production and other topics that would repel even the friendliest of people under normal circumstances. You'll find yourself sharing (and oversharing) at parks and playgroups with women from all walks of life — women with whom you may have only one thing in common: motherhood.
Start basic training Stamina and flexibility are the best predictors of success in any sport, says Andrew W. Mead, a program manager at the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Check the YMCA for kid fitness (like stretching and aerobics), yoga, or speed and agility classes. Most offer them, and they'll prime your child to take to multiple sports, not just the team du jour. Think: backup plan.