Buzzing: Santa sightings, preschool ADHD, what makes a great dad, teen trend, more

Looking for Santa? He’s virtually everywhere.

You could wait in a long mall line to see the man in red. Or look here:

  • Pokemon Go: Okay, it’s really just Santa Hat Pikachu—but you might know a certain somebody who’ll want to catch it.
  • Google’s Santa Tracker: Play a new game with elves every day and learn about holiday traditions worldwide. On December 24, the Tracker goes live to map the sleigh.
  • The Santa Phone Project: Twilio’s clever automated phone chat bot lets kids dictate wish lists to Santa’s helper.
  • Santa’s house: Zillow just added the North Pole listing (Zestimate: $656,957). No word on where the Clauses are relocating.
  • Official NORAD Santa Tracker: For over 60 years, the North American Aerospace Defense Command has been scanning the skies. You can also download the app.

Yes, we CAN raise kids who love to give

The psychological ah-ha: Nurture your kids’ inner motivation for generosity, so they want to do it

​on their own ​just because it feels good. It’s a strategy that’s way more effective than when we force them, says Jason Marsh of the UC-Berkeley Greater Good Science Center. Some science-based ways to do it:
  • Let them see you be a giver. But also explain why you support certain charities, volunteer where you do, or choose certain gifts.
  • Help them see the impact giving has on others. That’s why soup-kitchen work and park cleanups are great for kids 6 and up.
  • Encourage giving something that belongs to them. Putting allowance in separate Save, Spend, Share jars makes the giving more personal, which makes the giver feel more invested and more likely to continue giving down the line.
  • Make it optional. Giving shouldn’t be like homework. Talk it up and encourage it—but let them decide what to do.

ADHD in preschool?

Many 3- and 4-year-olds are naturally impulsive, impatient, hyped-up jumping beans with the attention span of the Gingerbread Man. That can make it hard to tell if they have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—or if there’s something else going on, like a poor preschool fit, a sleep problem, or another issue.

If you’re concerned, it’s worth checking out, says a report in the journal Pediatrics. Early diagnosis is key to treatment—which at this age is behavioral therapy, not medication.

Untreated ADHD symptoms in a preschooler can lead to getting kicked out of preschool or social problems that make kids feel bad about themselves,experts say.

What teens are up to (maybe less than we were at that age)

Ask teens if they smoke, and they’ll probably think you mean pot. More high-school seniors have smoked marijuana in the past year (23%) than smoked tobacco cigarettes or vaped, finds a new report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Overall, teen use of all drugs, alcohol, and tobacco has been dropping. All are at the lowest levels since the 1990s. And pot use is dropping faster in younger students than older ones. Drinking remains teens’ #1 drug of choice.

Compare the number of high-school seniors who:

  • Smoked half a pack a day in 1991: 11%
  • Smoked half a pack a day in 2015: 2%
  • Were drunk in the past year in 2001: 53%
  • Were drunk in the past year in 2015: 37%

Speaking of weed, a study in the journal Pediatric News is warning against lighting up a joint around babies and toddlers.​ Along with inhaling secondary smoke,​ ​kids’ bodies also absorb​ psychoactive chemicals.

2 traits that make a great dad

In the quality time vs. quantity time debate, score one for quality. A father’s engaged attitude, rather than the hours he spends with his kids, seems key to how they turn out, according to an Oxford University study of 10,000 parents and their children, who were first tracked at 8 weeks old. By ages 9 to 11, the kids were less likely to show behavioral problems when their dads felt confident in their role as a father and were able to be emotionally responsive when needed.

Photos from top: Pokemon Go, Sombilon Photograpy/Flickr, Michael Carian/Flickr, hepingting/Flickr, and Tim Pierce/Flickr

By | 2017-09-05T08:27:38+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Preschooler, Teen|

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