Added to the age-old conundrum of when to give your child the car keys for the first time, is a 21st-century parenting question: At what age should a child have his or her own smartphone? This is a tricky situation. You might be a parent who simply got tired of your child asking to use your phone. Or maybe you caved to pleas of “But all the other kids in my class have one!” But does your child really need a smartphone? It could do more harm than good. A student with a smartphone has instant access to other students, 24/7. [...]
Cold and flu season isn't far away, and with a new virus, Enterovirus D68, grabbing headlines for its unusually high rate of child illness and hospitalization, this seems like a good time for a refresher course about virus prevention.
The question of monitoring what their children see online is always a frequent one for families. Online content can include awful images or adult movie trailers that pop up amid the cute stuff, prompting nightmares or raising eyebrows. What can you do? You can set parental controls — or sit next your child to monitor every viewing experience — but broadly, it’s important to know what your kids are watching. Platforms such as YouTube, Fortnite, Roblox are all open season, with little warning about what children will see. For more traditional TV shows, movies, and video games, Common Sense Media is [...]
As the cold and dreary days of winter march on, Lower School students can become a bit restless. Despite teachers’ best efforts to plan engaging lessons, build community with Responsive Classroom and morning meetings, or incorporate GoNoodle more to offset indoor recess, a type of cabin fever sets in. Teasing may become personal, a sarcastic comment may become hurtful; what was intended as a joke may feel like a punch in the gut. While our teachers integrate social-emotional learning throughout our curriculum, we often see our students need a boost in kindness in mid-winter — our own MPA version of “Vitamin [...]
With cold and flu season in full swing, it is often tempting to medicate your child and send them to school, or to take some medicine yourself and go to work. “It’s just a little cold” or “they only vomited once,” we think as we hurry on with our day. How many times have we told ourselves “my coworkers need me” or “I can’t afford to take a day off” when we feel awful and are obviously not well? Parents often think that pushing a child who is not feeling well to attend school is teaching them resilience, or that going [...]
Wondering if your child should be evaluated for a social or learning difference? Educators are not trained to diagnose students with disabilities, but our experience being around children every day means that we often can recognize those who might need a deeper look into their social skills, attention, or processing abilities. Teachers indicate these signs in report cards or will take extra time to send notes home showcasing your child's behavior. While pediatricians might also see signs, they cannot accurately diagnose for attention or other cognitive disabilities because they can't spend days with your child to perform psychological testing. For that, [...]
"We are proud to be part of the majority of MPA Middle and Upper School students who enthusiastically take part in this student-led movement."
With summer break just around the corner we are gearing up for lots of outdoor summer fun. Here are a few tips to help keep your child safe and healthy during summer break. Promote water safety- Never leave children unattended in pools and wear properly fitted life vests when participating in water activities. Protect against the heat and sun- Always wear sunscreen and/or hats when outside in the sun, and never leave children unattended in the car even if the window is cracked, cars heat up very quickly! Stay hydrated- Drink plenty of water. Sugar containing beverages like soda pop and [...]
As much as we hope that our children will be frolicking outside this summer, let’s be realistic and acknowledge that students relaxing at home means having more time to explore online. Keep an eye on who your child is interacting with on their electronic devices. Is your child hiding their devices when you enter the room? Has their mood changed after group texts or online use? By not accepting your friend request, are they hiding something? Giving your child an electronic device opens them up to an unruly world. They might be following your rules and innocently texting with a classmate, [...]
As a busy parent, it isn’t always easy to juggle our long to-do lists. Between working, homework, extracurricular activities and other obligations, most parents look for ways to streamline their task list. One of the most common outsourced tasks is meal preparation. A quick stop at a drive-thru or the use of pre-packaged meals are often the answer to “what are we going to eat?” But these “convenience” foods may be doing more harm than good. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a 1600-2200 calorie diet per day for school age children and is currently recommending a reduction of daily sugar [...]