Stop Teaching Your Preschooler How to Read

Michelle Woo12/08/17 4:00pm Photo via Shutterstock My daughter is onto me. As I read bedtime stories to her, sometimes I’ll stop, point to a word, and in my most convincing voice, and say, “Hmm, I don’t know this one. C-A-P? Can you help me?” The almost-five-year-old, not falling for this nonsense at all, will then say to me, “Mom, just read it.” And I’ll keep reading. Like a chump. I am fully confident she will learn to read when she learns to read, but as a parent, I sometimes wonder if I should be trying to speed up the process. I’ve followed the advice of friends and purchased BOB Books for beginning readers, and I often prompt her to sound words out. I can tell that she almost gets it, but I can also tell that I’m not much help. So when Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of psychology at…

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Why You Should Stop Giving Your Kids So Many Toys

Photo by Timm Schamberger/Getty Images In a new study by researchers at the University of Toledo, toddlers who were given fewer toys played more creatively and were more engaged in their play than those who had many toys available. Moms and dads, this might be the time to remove that chicken robot, mustache plushie, emoji bingo set, and Spider-Man drone from your Amazon shopping cart. I’m sorry. Researchers placed 36 children between the ages of 18 and 30 months in different open play sessions, one with four toys in the room and the other with 16 toys. The toys varied—some were battery-operated, some had wheels, and some were made to teach a concept such as shapes or counting. In the environments with four toys, kids engaged with the toys 108% longer, and played with them in a greater number of ways. Their play was deeper, more sophisticated, more imaginative. When…

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Doing Dishes Is the Worst

Photo by: Mardis Coers / Getty Every day, they slowly accumulate. Plates covered in sauces and crumbs. Bowls with a fine layer of sticky who-knows-what. Forks, knives, and spoons all gummed with bits of this and that. At the end of a long day of work, cooking, cleaning, and, for many, negotiating with small children, a couple has to face the big question: Who is going to do the dishes? A report from the Council of Contemporary Families (CCF), a nonprofit that studies family dynamics, suggests that the answer to that question can have a significant impact on the health and longevity of a relationship. The study examined a variety of different household tasks—including shopping, laundry, and housecleaning, and found that, for women in heterosexual relationships, it’s more important to share the responsibility of doing the dishes than any other chore. Women who wash the vast majority of the dishes…

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What you need to know about vaccines, autism, and the hubbub over ‘Vaxxed’

By Rebecca Robbins March 31, 2016 A medical assistant prepares a vaccine at a Colorado clinic. John Moore/Getty Images The anti-vaccine documentary “Vaxxed” will premiere Friday in New York, giving critics a first look at a film that sparked a ferocious backlash in the scientific community. The film is directed by a discredited British researcher, Andrew Wakefield, known for promoting the debunked notion that vaccines are linked to autism. It had been set to premiere April 24 at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. But amid a storm of outrage, actor and festival cofounder Robert De Niro, yanked it from the schedule. Now, a small California distributor that had originally planned to distribute the film after the Tribeca premiere has hastily arranged Friday’s debut screenings. Here’s what you should know about the controversy: Who’s behind this film? One of the most scorned men in the medical world. Wakefield, who also co-wrote the film, helped launch and sustain an anti-vaccine movement that public health experts estimate is responsible for thousands of preventable…

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Why It’s Okay To Cut Toxic Family Members Out of Your Life
Cut Toxic Family Members

Why It’s Okay To Cut Toxic Family Members Out of Your Life

We get it, your connection with your family is supposed to be this mythical bond that nobody and nothing can break—however, sometimes it’s okay to distance yourself from certain family members, even if that means cutting them off indefinitely. You should never compromise your mental, emotional or physical health for the sake of tolerating a toxic family member. Before you start blocking Aunt Susan and your second cousin, it’s important to recognize the signs of a toxic person: 1. They’re judgmental. Constructive criticism is healthy, but persistent, unwarranted criticism can deteriorate anyone’s self-esteem. 2. They feed off drama. Have you ever turned to a family member for some personal advice? Yet, somehow after you’ve shared your most vulnerable moments with them—someone you thought was a trusted ally—somehow everyone in your family knows everything about your personal life (including your distant cousin in Hungary, who you’ve never met). 3. They gaslight…

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