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How Stories Reach Kids and Facilitate Empathy

<a href="/articles/how-stories-reach-kids-and-facilitate-empathy">How Stories Reach Kids and Facilitate Empathy</a>

Families are a mix-master lot these days, with stepparents, grandparents, single mothers, blends of all sorts. Kids and families manage with fun and games, some wins, and some challenges. Relating to a story and being emotionally engaged with it can facilitate empathy, understanding, and open pathways to positive life choices. The I Am Jack stories permit readers to empathise with situations they may not have experienced; provide reassurance that other people experience the same problems; and open discussions with family. Read full article

5 Top Tips to Challenge Negative Self-Talk in Children

<a href="/articles/5-top-tips-to-challenge-negative-self-talk-in-children-0">5 Top Tips to Challenge Negative Self-Talk in Children</a>

Self-talk is comprised of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and is sometimes called our ‘inner voice’. It influences our beliefs about who we are, how we fit in the world, and how we feel about ourselves. Persistent negative self-talk can lead to feelings of sadness and hopelessness, and when associated with feeling threatened in situations, people can also experience anxiety. With the onset of anxiety now estimated at 6 years of age, even very young children are feeling the social and emotional consequences of negative self-talk – social relationships and academic performance are known to suffer when negative self-talk is pervasive. happychild spoke with Dr Lauren McLellan, psychologist and clinical researcher at the Centre for Emotional Health, to get her recommendations on what parents and carers can do to challenge negative self-talk in children. Read full article

Five Top Tips to Help Your Child Overcome Shyness

<a href="/articles/five-top-tips-to-help-your-child-overcome-shyness">Five Top Tips to Help Your Child Overcome Shyness</a>

Shyness in kids is very common, and “everybody can feel shy in certain situations,” says Professor Jennifer Hudson, a clinical psychologist and research fellow from Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health . While mild shyness is not defined as an anxiety condition, approximately one in five children will have a problem with exceptional shyness and anxiety, such that it significantly interferes with their daily life. Professor Hudson’s latest longitudinal research into the role of temperament and stressful life events in the development of childhood anxiety found that shy children experience fewer positive life experiences because of their inhibitions. Read full article

Teens Learn Their Model of Romantic Relationships from Parents

<a href="/articles/teens-learn-their-model-of-romantic-relationships-from-parents">Teens Learn Their Model of Romantic Relationships from Parents</a>

A new study from University of Alberta relationship researchers, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, found the quality of the relationship between an adolescent and their parents was directly related to the quality of the teen’s intimate relationship 15 years later. Described as a small but noteworthy association, the researchers say their findings match previous evidence that children learn their model of close relationships from their family of origin. Read full article

Interview with Megan Mitchell – Australia's National Children's Commissioner

<a href="/articles/interview-with-megan-mitchell-%E2%80%93-australias-national-childrens-commissioner">Interview with Megan Mitchell – Australia&#039;s National Children&#039;s Commissioner</a>

This week, happychild had the privilege of speaking with Megan Mitchell, Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner. We were interested to understand more about her role and what she has to say about the state of children’s rights in Australia after her first eight months on the job. Read full article

Interview with Marita Cheng - Young Australian of the Year 2012

<a href="/articles/interview-with-marita-cheng-young-australian-of-the-year-2012">Interview with Marita Cheng - Young Australian of the Year 2012</a>

Marita Cheng grew up poor, living in a housing commission home in north Queensland. Marita was an excellent student in school, finishing in the top 0.2% of the nation. After graduating, Marita moved to Melbourne to start her engineering studies. In 2008, she founded the not-for-profit, Robogals. In 2012, she was named Australia’s Young Australian of the Year. Marita recently spoke at Sydney’s Young Minds Conference where the theme was How Do We Grow a Good Person? Afterwards, happychild spoke with Marita about what it takes to achieve your dreams. Read full article

Why Have Good Parents Gone Bad?

<a href="/articles/why-have-good-parents-gone-bad">Why Have Good Parents Gone Bad?</a>

Dr Wendy Mogel asked this question when presenting at the Young Minds Conference in Sydney this week. Dr Mogel is an acclaimed clinical psychologist, parenting expert and author of The New York Times best-selling parenting book, The Blessing of a B-Minus. Her presentation explored the ‘new normal’ for today’s parents and she made some practical suggestions for raising self-reliant children and teenagers. Read full article

Free Talk in Sydney - 'What is Good Education for Girls AND Boys?'

<a href="/blogs/admin/2013/05/01/free-talk-in-sydney-what-is-good-education-for-girls-and-boys">Free Talk in Sydney - &#039;What is Good Education for Girls AND Boys?&#039;</a>

Santa Sabina College Principal and Gender Education Expert, Dr Maree Herrett invites you to a free talk about gender relations in education. Read full article

Mindfulness Training at School Reduces Depression in Teenagers

<a href="/articles/mindfulness-training-at-school-reduces-depression-in-teenagers">Mindfulness Training at School Reduces Depression in Teenagers</a>

A study published last month in the Mindfulness Journal, found that a mindfulness program integrated into school hours, can prevent and reduce symptoms of clinical depression in high school students...The researchers found that six months after the study, the mindfulness students with clinical depression symptoms showed significantly greater reductions in depression compared to their control group peers. Read full article

Shaming Teen Mums is a Bad Idea

<a href="/blogs/michelle-higgins/2013/03/19/shaming-teen-mums-is-a-bad-idea">Shaming Teen Mums is a Bad Idea</a>

What if instead of deciding to shame teenagers out of 'choosing' to become parents with a questionable 'public health' campaign, New York City instead focused their efforts on ending the 'epidemic' of advanced age motherhood? Imagine the outrage. Read full article