Parenting & Family

How Adults Can Support the Mental Health of Black… – Happiness Article

With his last breaths, George Floyd called out, “Momma!” before he was killed in Minneapolis. He was one of nearly 1,300 black people have been killed by police in the last five years. They are two times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans. Riana Elyse Anderson, University of Michigan Facing destructive policies and attitudes in the United States, mothers and fathers try to safeguard their black children from racism. This often takes the form of preparing…

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How Reading Science Fiction Can Build Resilience in Kids – Happiness Article

Young people who are hooked on watching fantasy or reading science fiction may be on to something. Contrary to a common misperception that reading this genre is an unworthy practice, reading science fiction and fantasy may help young people cope, especially with the stress and anxiety of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. I am a professor with research interests in the social, ethical and political messages in science fiction. In my book Medicine and Ethics in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction,…

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What Happens When We Lose Our Social Rituals? – Happiness Article

When the shelter-in-place orders came down in California, the first thing I thought of was my cousin’s wedding—the one I was supposed to officiate. I’d been working on creating a special ceremony since the fall. But once the pandemic kicked in, everything was cancelled. Perhaps my cousin is luckier than some—after all, a wedding can be rescheduled. Even so, he had to let go of a cherished dream of when and how his wedding would take place. He’s certainly not…

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When Coronavirus Anxiety Is Useful and When It… – Happiness Article

Excessive worry about COVID-19 is becoming a mental health pandemic unto itself. Fears and questions about the future can keep us up at night, distract us during the day, and make it hard to find the motivation and energy to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. But anxiety can also be useful, explains UC Berkeley professor Sonia Bishop. Negative emotions like fear are a natural response to what’s going on in our environment. The key is to channel…

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How to Help Teens Shelter in Place – Happiness Article

Last weekend, my kids began arriving home from their various schools. We invited our oldest daughter’s longtime best friend, Lena, over for a homecoming dinner. She’s like a member of our family, and we were excited to see her, too, despite closing schools and social-distancing recommendations. The kids are all healthy, we reasoned. We had Lena wash her hands when she came in; we resisted hugging her. On Monday we got a government order to shelter in place, and having…

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Three Ways to Boost Your Resilience as a Parent – Happiness Article

Self-care isn’t about being self-centered or selfish. If you’re a parent, taking time away from your usual schedule is one of the best ways to boost resilience and strengthen your capacity to nurture your children. Too often parents are stressed by the demands of raising children—helping with homework, getting them to after-school activities, keeping track of doctor’s appointments. But being overwhelmed isn’t part of the job description. Give yourself permission to reduce stress and be happy—in whatever ways work for…

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How Cosleeping Can Help You and Your Baby – Happiness Article

Few parenting conversations in early childhood elicit as much angst and judgment as the one about our children’s sleep: Where should they sleep, and how do we get them to sleep through the night? We label newborn babies as “good,” or not, depending on how much they disturb us in the nighttime, or we believe babies’ sleep is a reflection of our parenting competence. But our beliefs and decisions about children’s sleep are more a reflection of the culture we…

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Our Best Education Articles of 2019 – Happiness Article

Looking for inspiration to start the new decade off on the right foot? Our most popular education articles of 2019 explore how children develop purpose, how we can best support our students’ mental health and social-emotional development, why we benefit from listening to each other’s stories, and more. And…if you want to put the scientific findings from these articles into practice, check out our new website for educators, Greater Good in Education (GGIE), officially launching on February 20, 2020. In…

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What No One Tells You About Becoming a Mother – Happiness Article

You can find plenty of practical information out there about pregnancy and parenting, but what about the emotional rollercoaster and identity shift that occurs for many women and their partners when they have a child? We don’t talk much about it—and if we do, it’s usually in the context of postpartum depression. We need a new model to think about the transition to motherhood. That’s the focus of the new book What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your…

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What Helps Kids Thrive Under Extreme Adversity? – Happiness Article

Preschoolers’ ability to regulate their attention, behavior, and emotions has been linked with their capacity to cope with difficult situations and thrive in the classroom. But most research into how children develop these skills—known as “executive functions”—has taken place in high-income countries like the United States. A new study led by Stanford Graduate School of Education professor Jelena Obradović identifies several factors that appear to promote these skills in children from parts of the world with high rates of poverty,…

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How to Find Your Silver Linings – Happiness Article

MAGGIE SMITH It’s funny, my daughter this year, in her Mother’s Day card wrote to me, “Thank you for helping me be optimistic.” And it made me cry, but it also made me laugh, because if you had told me even five years ago, but certainly 10 years ago, and definitely 15 years ago, that anyone would accuse me of being an optimist, I would have laughed. I’m sure my own mother would have laughed. I would probably call myself…

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