Links to Research and News Reports

Helicopter parents who put their children on ‘a pedestal’ are to blame for them still living at home at 25, according to an expert. Article by Sarah Harris for the Daily Mail, 8 December 2017 . “Professor Lancy believes the West should look at other cultures and their more ‘natural’ ways of rearing children. He said: ‘I think one of the greatest things that we’ve lost, which you become aware of in a village in somewhere like Papua New Guinea, (is that) children have learned from watching other people do stuff. ‘I mean building things, making things, working out of doors, watching adults work on the farm.‘Even before children’s attention was captured 24/7 by social media and video games, play had moved indoors. Partly for safety concerns, the overprotection issue. ‘If I were a parent (or teacher) of children now, I would make sure that they had opportunities to watch. Then even better, to pitch in, help out.’ Read more.

Daily touchscreen use in infants and toddlers is associated with reduced sleep and delayed sleep onset. Article published in Scientific Reports N°7, 2017. Traditional screen time (e.g. TV and videogaming) has been linked to sleep problems and poorer developmental outcomes in children. With the advent of portable touchscreen devices, this association may be extending down in age to disrupt the sleep of infants and toddlers, an age when sleep is essential for cognitive development. Read more.

Imitation, Interaction and Recognition. Communication between Children and Adults in the Waldorf Kindergarten.  Article by Arve Mathisen and Frode Thorjussen from the Rudolf Steiner University College, Oslo, Norway. The authors present ideas and perspectives that may inspire an expanded understanding of imitation and a reconsideration of what is at stake in the interaction between children and adults. The argument is that Steiner’s statements regarding imitation will not lose their significance, but that an element of dialogue and response can be added and thus enrich the understanding of human and material encounters in the Waldorf kindergarten. Published in ROSE, (Research in Steiner Education) Vol 7, December 2016. Download the article 

Being bored is good for children – and adults. This is why. Article by Teresa Belton and published on the website of the World Economic Forum. “Parents often feel guilty if children complain of boredom. But it’s actually more constructive to see boredom as an opportunity rather than a deficit. Parents do have a role, but rushing in with ready-made solutions is not helpful. Rather, children need the adults around them to understand that creating their own pastimes requires space, time and the possibility of making a mess (within limits – and to be cleared up afterwards by the children themselves).”  Download the article

Media and Young Minds. A policy statement released by the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) concludes that there are multiple developmental and health concerns relating to excess use of digital media including obesity and sleep disruption. This article includes very useful recommendations for care providers and parents. (November 2016)Read the article

Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy. Article by Victoria L. Dunckley M.D published in Psychology Today. “Successfully treating a child with mood dysregulation today requires methodically eliminating all electronics use for several weeks—an “electronics fast”—to allow the nervous system to reset. (August 2015) Read the article

Symbolic Play and Emergent Literacy. An article by Sandra and William Stone on the website of the International Council for Childrens Play. It might be useful for all those, who want to show, that play is actually a good preparation for formal learning. “The very nature of symbolic play (first-order symbolism) has an intimate relationship with reading and writing (second-order symbolism) in that children use similar representational mental processes in both.” (2007) Read more

Play: Children’s Default Setting. An interesting blog by Adrian Voce, writer and consultant on children’s play. While the precise nature of play remains elusive and indefinable, several academic disciplines – from evolutionary biology to developmental and depth psychology and the emergent neurosciences – each agree in their different ways that children’s play is central to who and what we are. (April 28, 2016) Read more

Study finds improved self-regulation in kindergartners who wait a year to enroll. A new study on the mental health effects of kindergarten enrollment ages found strong evidence that a one-year delay dramatically improves a child’s self-regulation abilities even into later childhood. (October 7, 2015). Read more

Electronic Toys for Babies Should Be Discouraged, Concludes New Study. The study shows that despite the fact that many electronic toys are marketed as educational for babies, they are detrimental to early language development. (January 15, 2016) Read more

We need hidden worlds. A nice illustrated blog by Laura Grace Weldon about the importance for children to create hidden places during free play. (October 15, 2013 Read more