Spark! Do Americans Overprotect Our Kids?

From Chapter 1 of "Starring Celia"  Illustration by Thorina Rose
From Chapter 1 of “Starring Celia” Illustration by Thorina Rose

*Some great parenting food-for-thought from Christine Gross-Loh, author of Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us: Gross-Loh argues, among other things, that parents need to let their kids take risks, go hungry from time to time and “fuel their feelings of frustration.” She concludes in a recent blog on The Huffington Post: “[T]hough parents around the world have the same goals, American parents like me (despite our very best intentions) have gotten it all backwards.” What do you think of her advice?

*Looking for more time to talk, exercise and just be with your girls during these last few days of school? We are inspired by this smart mom from Glendale, Calif. who “organized a walking school bus, a group of children that walks together to and from school under the supervision of an adult, usually a parent volunteer or teacher. It’s like a carpool, except without the car and traffic—with the added benefits of increased physical activity and socialization with friends and neighbors.”  Read more on Good, where you will also find links that will help you set up a walking school bus of your own.

*And speaking of the end of the school year,  here are some good ideas for keeping your kids creative this summer (and indulging their love of tech gadgets): Common Sense Media just published a list of great age-appropriate resources in an article called Digital Fun for Creative Kids: “Creativity is more than arts and music — making, tinkering, and experimenting are all ways kids can be creative. Whether they want to write code for a video game or make an origami crane, kids can explore their creative side with some of our favorite apps, games, and websites. Let the making begin!”

*ONE LAST THING: Make sure to check out a powerful blog by our own Lynn Johnson about helping girls be critical consumers of media, just published on the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History website: “Engaging girls as makers is the best antidote to the passive consumption of the media that permeates their lives 24/7.  Girls can tell their truths.  They can stand up to images and ideas that make them feel unsafe, unseen, or undervalued.”