Tag Archives: Education

FOR PARENTS: Singing Kids Behave Better

100801015413913_1The Sound of Music was a movie beyond it’s tine. Linking baby mozart to math skills may not have held up to research scrutiny  but there is new promise that music can do something else for kids: Make them behave better and solve problems.

Researchers from the University of West London School of Psychology examined how music made young children, aged four, more helpful and sociable. Dr. Maddie Ohl, Dr. Anne Manyande and undergraduate student, Rie Davies split 24 girls and 24 boys into two groups, ‘Music’ and ‘No Music’. Children in the ‘No Music’ Group listened to a story, while children in the ‘Music’ Group sang and played small percussion instruments. After the sessions, the children were tested for problem solving abilities with a ‘Helping’ game.  The results found that children who were in the ‘Music’ group, boys and girls, were more helpful than children in the ‘No Music’ Group; they were 30 times more likely to help than their music-less counterparts. Results also showed, girls were greater than 20 times more likely to help than boys of the ‘Music’ Group. The ‘No Music’ Group also showed less co-operation than the ‘Music’ group, whose co-operation was six times greater than their counterparts. Girls excelled again, and demonstrated more co-operation than boys. But when it came to problem solving boys in the ‘Music’ Group were four times more likely to problem solve than their peers.
            The results of this study show that pre-schooler music class isn’t a useless endeavor forced on kids by uber mommies. And the researchers suggest that even singing can be highly beneficial.  So, belt it out babies!

FOR SINGLES: Is Marriage in Your Future? Why Money & Education Matter

Couple holding handsWhile marriage rates are low, wedding bells and an alter could be in your future, but much depends on if you fall into a category demographers call “marriage-eligible Millennials” – people whose marriage rates are actually on the rise.

An analysis released to USA TODAY reveals what so many of us already know: the U.S. marriage rate is low and in fact, has reached its lowest point in over a century. But this decline may not apply to you. While the economic recession resulted in the number of marriages decreasing by more than 5%, this study predicts there will actually be more weddings among the over the next two years.

The low rates of marriage are mostly related to two factors: couples eschewing legal marriage and instead dipping their toes in commitment by co-habitating and the recession, that makes couples slower at saving money for the big nuptial bash.

But the future looks brighter for some who want to get married. Not everyone will experience the decline firsthand – U.S. birth forecast provider Demographic Intelligence anticipates a 4% bump in the number of weddings from 2009. According to the study, women ages 25-34, the college-educated, and the affluent, are likelier to soon exchange vows than those with a high school education or less, younger Americans, and the less affluent – all who’s marriage rates are stagnant or steadily decreasing. In lower socio-economic classes, marriage and parenthood have become two distinct concepts and the middle-class is beginning to follow suit. But in the highly educated and high earning group, marriage rates highest and predicted to be going up.

Of course, there are the naysayers. Some demographers, including co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green University, fear this study may be “overly optimistic.” In a 2012 report conducted by the center, Manning and her team found that one-third of people that said, “I do” last year were not marrying for the first time, and that these remarriages were not among younger generations.

Manning also points to the fact that the average age of first-time brides and grooms is getting older each year. Three years ago, the average age was 28.2 for men, and 26.1 for women, compared to the estimated 29.2 and 27.1, respectively, by 2015. What’s more is that experts, including Demographic Intelligence president Sam Sturgeon, expect these numbers to only continue escalating – and for at least another decade.

Bottom line: Get a graduate degree, a good job and by the time you hit the age of 27, you’ll be part of that lucky group of “marriage-eligible Millennials.”

Cope with September Mom Syndrome (SMS)

september-mommy-syndrome-250I don’t know about you, but I dread the month of September. Saying goodbye to the lazy days of summer where kids can sleep in and stay up late is hard to do. Last night I watched “Sleeping Beauty” at 11 PM with a 6-year-old! It’s morning now, and my little sleeping beauties are snoring away while I get some writing done. September will be a different story.

September means back-to-work for mommiesLunch packing, carpools, music lessons, club sports, homework (where the math sometimes escapes us), and firm media control. And, don’t forget your responsibility to volunteer at your child’s school(s) — from room parent duties to bake sales to getting ready for that darned silent auction. Yuck. The real world of mommy life is fast approaching. I remember one year when I was simultaneously a room parent, president of the parents’ association, and, oh, I also helped develop the P.E. program. I was so crazed that I learned to walk across the schoolyard with my head down, because I was approached by so many wonderful, though tiring, parents who had questions or needed direction.

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