Four in 10 infants lack strong parental attachments

In a study of 14,000 U.S. children, 40 percent lack strong emotional bonds — what psychologists call “secure attachment” — with their parents that are crucial to success later in life, according to a new report. The researchers found that these children are more likely to face educational and behavioral problems.In a report published by Sutton Trust, a London-based institute that has published more than 140 research papers on education and social mobility, researchers from Princeton University, Columbia University, the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Bristol found that infants under the age of three who do not form strong bonds with their mothers or fathers are more likely to be aggressive, defiant and hyperactive as adults. These bonds, or secure attachments, are formed through early parental care, such as picking up a child when he or she cries or holding and reassuring a child.”When parents tune in to and respond to their children’s needs and are a dependable source of comfort, those children learn how to manage their own feeling and behaviors,” said Sophie Moullin, a joint doctoral candidate studying at Princeton’s Department of Sociology and the Office of Population Research, which is based at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. “These secure attachments to their mothers and fathers provide these children with a base from which they can thrive.”Written by Moullin, Jane Waldfogel from Columbia University and the London School of Economics and Political Science and Elizabeth Washbrook from the University of Bristol, the report uses data collected by the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative U.S. study of 14,000 children born in 2001. The researchers also reviewed more than 100 academic studies.Their analysis shows that about 60 percent of children develop strong attachments to their parents, which are formed through simple actions, such as holding a baby lovingly and responding to the baby’s needs. Such actions support children’s social and emotional development, which, in turn, strengthens their cognitive development, the researchers write. These children are more likely to be resilient to poverty, family instability, parental stress and depression. Additionally, if boys growing up in poverty have strong parental attachments, they are two and a half times less likely to display behavior problems at school.The approximately 40 percent who lack secure attachments, on the other hand, are more likely to have poorer language and behavior before entering school. …

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Audio Fest NOW and Best Buy!

~Written in a partnership with Best Buy and their Audio Fest. All opinions are my own.Did you know Audio Fest is happening right now at Best Buy stores across the country? It goes from March 2nd to April 4th, 2014, and is filled with specials, deals, and events for all things audio–making Best Buy the place to be! I just went this weekend We’re big music fans and especially since having kids because there’s nothing better to cure a bad day or a sad mood than a DANCE PARTY!Maybe you h ave a home entertainment area? Ours is in our basement and our 4-year-old calls it the movie theater. It makes family movie nights extra special! Best Buy can enhance your experience and upgrade your …

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Spatial, written language skills predict math competence

Oct. 22, 2013 — Early math skills are emerging as important to later academic achievement. As many countries seek to strengthen their workforces in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, understanding the early contributions to math skills becomes increasingly vital. New longitudinal research from Finland has found that children’s early spatial skills and knowledge of written letters, rather than oral language skills, predict competence in this area.The research also found that children’s ability to count sequences of numbers serve as a bridge: Children with stronger early spatial skills and knowledge of written letters did better in counting sequences of numbers; such skill in counting was related to later math competence in general.Published in the journal Child Development, the study was conducted by researchers at The Hong Kong Institute of Education, and the Niilo Mäki Institute and the University of Jyväskylä, both in Finland.”Our results provide strong evidence that children’s early acquisition of written language, spatial, and number skills forms important foundations for the development of their competence in math in the elementary years,” according to Xiao Zhang, assistant professor of psychology at The Hong Kong Institute of Education, who led the study. Spatial skills involve the ability to understand problems that relate to physical spaces, shapes, and forms.”As a practical matter, programs that build young children’s spatial and written language skills might help accelerate subsequent number-related knowledge and, in turn, the development of competence in math.”Researchers tested the linguistic and spatial skills of 1,880 Finnish children in kindergarten, gauging their awareness of phonetics, knowledge of letters and vocabulary, and understanding of spatial relations. Then they tested the children’s math performance on paper-and-pencil tests from first to third grade. With a randomly selected group of about 375 children from the initial group, the researchers also tested how well the children could count numbers in forward and backward sequences when they were in first grade.Children with better written language skills (those with more knowledge of written letters) not only had stronger math competence at the start of first grade, but advanced more rapidly in math through third grade. In contrast, children with strong oral language skills were not more likely to show strong math ability later.Spatial skills also were found to predict children’s development in math: Children with better spatial skills had stronger competence in math in first grade and later had more growth over time. And spatial and written language skills improved the development of math by enhancing children’s knowledge of sequential counting.

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Top 8 Vital Tips for Health Insurance

Choosing private medical insurance can be daunting. There are so many plans and the expenses are extreme. Use the following vital tips to save money and find the right plan. Taking time to do a little research could really ease the budget and provide peace of mind.1. A first stop can be the state insurance website. This is a centralized location that will have a list of insurance providers in the state, ball park figures for individual and family plans, and will give details about any low income options. Each state has some form of plan for low income brackets, even if they only cover children.2. Using a health insurance broker is also a possibility. If a person doesn’t have the time to do a search, the …

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