Marshmallow Test: Want to teach your kids self-control? Ask a Cameroonian farmer. Now for the first time, there’s a study reporting on what happens when psychologists give the marshmallow test to kids outside Western culture, specifically 4-year-old children from the ethnic group Nso in Cameroon. Compared to German children in the experiment, the Cameroonian kids waited, on average, twice as long for the second treat. And way more Cameroonian kids — nearly 70% — waited the full 10 minutes to snag the second marshmallow. Only about 30% of the German kids could hold out.
What to Tell Your Ultra-Rich Kids about Money: Money is the last taboo. People will tell you about their sex life before they will talk about money. Such is the dichotomy for the ultra-wealthy as they work to strike a balance. They want to live well, but they don’t want to spoil their children. They want their kids to be well-adjusted and advantaged, but they don’t want them to lack ambition. Wealthy people on both sides of the equation — the wealth creators and the heirs — often consider it gauche to even discuss money. Some are embarrassed by it.
“What I make a point to do when all my kids have just turned 18 is visit our estate attorney in Richmond who my dad and now me have done business with for 28 years.”
All three children have attended public schools, and all work at the company starting at 11 or 12. They also must work outside the company after college, so they “learn what you have to do to make $100,000 a year.”
“Each child has a small trust set up when they were born that will mature in stages when they graduate from college, turn 30 and, finally, turn 35.”
KIDS ARE EXPENSIVE: American families will shell out an average of $233,610 from birth through age 17 — or about $13,000 a year. The ballooning price tag, a 3% increase, comes at a time when day-care costs can exceed university tuitions and homes prices have skyrocketed to record highs. (Washington Post)
Families in urban areas in the Northeast, such as New York and Boston, were likely to pay even more — an average of $253,770, or roughly $14,000 a year — because of higher housing and child-care costs.
Lower-income families are likely to spend $212,300 per child through age 17, while higher-income families will spend more than double that, or about $454,770.
Families in rural areas, meanwhile, are likely to spend 24% less than their counterparts in urban areas in the Northeast.
Credit: Washington Post
PERSONALIZED LEARNING FOR 6-12 GRADES: A nationwide pilot program, one that could indicate just how deeply and how quickly the personalized-learning trend will penetrate the average classroom. Indeed, despite the buzz around personalized learning, there’s no simple recipe for success, and the common ingredients — such as adaptive-learning technology and student control over learning — can backfire if poorly implemented. (Wired)
One early November afternoon in an hour’s drive south of San Francisco, a class of ninth-graders sat at computers for a 45-minute session of personalized learning time. Many watched instructional videos or worked with adaptive-learning software that adjusted lessons based on each student’s proficiency. Other than a few murmured conversations and the clicking of keyboards, the only sound was mellow acoustic guitar music played on their teacher’s laptop.
By offloading some rote learning to a computer—such as memorizing the steps of cell division or the formulas for sine, cosine and tangent—we can make the most of the connections between teachers and kids. We want more of those interactions to be about big ideas, deeper learning and the sort of feedback that you can only get from a real, live adult.
FAVORITE CHILD: We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you’re thinking it’s not you. But does that really make a difference?
Many if not most parents do have a favorite child. And though parents usually strive to hide that, it’s not always successful. That differential treatment has been linked to problems with family relationships and risky behavior in teens.
But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.
In families that weren’t particularly close, the child who felt less favored was more likely to be a substance abuser. The more dramatic the difference they perceived in preferential treatment, the more likely they were to be using.
But when family members were more engaged with each other, the perceived favoritism had less impact, at least when it came to substance abuse.
After people learned to sort words while awake, their brains were able to do the same task while asleep. (Current Biology, Kouider et al.)
THINGS YOU DO IN YOUR SLEEP: For those who find themselves sleeping through work — you may one day find yourself working through sleep. People who are fast asleep can correctly respond to simple verbal instructions. This may explain why you might wake if someone calls your name or why your alarm clock is more likely to rouse you than any other noise.
STRESSED OUT: Women are more stressed out than men in every category – too many responsibilities, finances, work, health, neighbors – except for friends.
18-29 year olds are most stressed out by “too many responsibilities.” 30-39 year-olds most stressed about finances. 65+ year-olds are least stressed out by their looks.
70% of people respond to extreme stress by sleeping less than usual.
83% of 18-29 year olds say stress has a positive effect in their lives – the highest in all age groups.
Sources of Stress by Age Group (NPR)
PARENTING AROUND THE WORLD: Dutch parents believe strongly in not pushing their children too hard. “People would talk about a cousin who got a PhD and was very unhappy because there were no jobs at universities, and said that you shouldn’t teach your child to read before they got to school, because then your child would be bored at school and not have any friends.”
DOES HANDWRITING MATTER? Most states call for teaching legible writing, only in kindergarten and first grade. After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard. But children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.
When the children composed text by hand, they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas.
When these children were asked to come up with ideas for a composition, the ones with better handwriting exhibited greater neural activation in areas associated with working memory — and increased overall activation in the reading and writing networks.
Students learn better when they take notes by hand than when they type on a keyboard.
For adults, typing may be a fast and efficient alternative to longhand, but that very efficiency may diminish our ability to process new information.
What stage in life do you remember most fondly? (Source: United Healthcare)