It won't be long until the kids head back to school (although it pains me to think of that because I'm still very much in mid-summer mode myself). But with September just a few weeks away, I thought you might enjoy this roundup of back-to-school parenting news. (If you're not ready to face back-to-school quite yet, bookmark this item and come back to it in another week or two. I will totally understand.)
Bully to You....
Most bullies are motivated by the pursuit of status and the desire to be liked by others. That's the key finding to emerge from a study of nearly 500 9-to-12 year olds conducted by researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The researchers found that bullies attempt to gain status by dominating their victims; but, because they want to be liked by other children, they choose to pick on children who are weak and who don't have a lot of friends. Gender also factors into bullying activity. When boys bully boys, it doesn’t matter whether girls approve or disapprove, the researchers discovered. The same holds true for girls. What's more, boys will bully only those girls who aren’t well liked by other boys, regardless of what girls think about it, and girls will do the same in their bullying of boys. “To understand the complex nature of acceptance and rejection, it’s necessary to distinguish the gender of the bully, the gender of the target, and the gender of the classmates who accept and reject bullies and victims,” notes René Veenstra, professor of sociology at the University of Groningen, who led the study.
Managing the School Day Munchies
Breakfast really does matter. In a recent study published online in the International Journal of Obesity researchers examined the impact of a protein-rich breakfast on adolescents who traditionally skipped breakfast. When the study participants ate a protein-rich breakfast the researchers observed that the teens were less hungry and ate approximately 130 fewer calories at lunch. The takeaway message? A protein-rich breakfast improves appetite control.
Meeting the Mark
How quickly they expect to receive their grades may influence how students perform. Psychological scientists Keri L. Kettle and Gerald Häubl of the University of Alberta discovered that students who were told they would receive feedback quickly on their performance on an oral presentation earned higher grades than students who expected feedback at a later time. What's more, when students expected to receive their grades quickly, they predicted that their performance would be worse than students who were to receive feedback later. "People do best precisely when their predictions about their own performance are least optimistic," the authors explained in the journal Psychological Science ("Motivation by Anticipation: Expecting Rapid Feedback Enhances Performance").
Why Sensitive Children Are Like Orchids
"Sensitive children, like orchids, are more challenging to raise and care for,
but they can bloom into individuals of exceptional ability and strength
when reared in a supportive, nurturing, and encouraging environment."
- Jelena Obradović, an assistant professor
in the School of Education at Stanford University