The latest trends in education and parenting March 20, 2014
Have you ever lied to your kids, perhaps to get them to sit still for a blood test or a vaccination—as in the, “You’ll only feel a pinch,” school of parenting white lies? You may have taught your child an unintended and unfortunate lesson: that lying is okay. That’s according to Professor Leslie Carver and Chelsea Hays of the University of California at San Diego. They’ve just published a paper to that effect.
“As far as we know, this is the first experiment confirming what we might have suspected: Lying by an adult affects a child’s honesty,” says Carver.
Okay, so are you thinking that this is another one of those studies that prove something we kinda sorta already knew—that children emulate their parents? Yeah. We get that. But no one tested it until now.
So here’s how it went: an adult would tell a lie to a child study participant and then confess the lie. Next, the child would be left alone in a room and told not to peek at a toy. Some of the kids peeked and then lied about it when later asked. As you might have guessed, the cameras were rolling the whole time. The child study participants were more likely to cheat and then lie about having done so when they had first been lied to by an adult. Read about the study HERE.
The upshot? If you want your kids to be truthful, set a good example. Of course you knew that already, now didn’t you?
Obesity And Parenting Styles
Moving right along, a study on childhood obesity conducted by Lisa Kakinami from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, found that parenting styles affect child obesity rates. It seems that stricter middle class parents tend to have children that pack on the pounds compared to the children of more affectionate, more flexible parents, who actually have conversations with their children to decide important issues. The cause and effect is greater in younger children, up to the age of 11 years. In such children, a stricter parenting style meant that the risk of obesity rose by one-third.
Kakinami presented her results at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism Scientific Sessions 2014. “If you’re treating your child with a balance of affection and limits—these are the kids who are least likely to be obese,” said Kakinami. You can read more about this study on parenting styles and obesity HERE.
Happiness Goes Viral
Lying makes kids lie and strict parenting makes kids fat, but happy kids make for happy people everywhere, if you want to go by the over 25,000 views this video by the students, staff, and teachers of the Amundsen High School of Chicago has received as of this writing.
Rachel Canning Goes Home
Last but not least, an update on the Rachel Canning story, featured in our first edition of EDUReview, just two weeks ago. If you’ll recall, we were rather sympathetic to Canning’s parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, mostly because we know it’s not easy raising teens. Rachel became estranged from her parents and sued them for living expenses and tuition.
It may not be easy raising teens, but it was easy enough to see how much Rachel’s parents care about her, from watching the coverage of the trial. Apparently, even Rachel was persuaded of this fact, to the extent that she filed papers to dismiss the lawsuit, calling her decision to do so completely voluntary. It seems that after four months of living on her own, Rachel, age 18, has returned to her parents’ home.
We say good for this New Jersey teenager. This was a very mature decision on her part. Rachel Canning is lucky to have such great parents and we feel vindicated on their behalf. We wish them much success at making another go of it! Read all about this happy-ending story, HERE.