ParentMap, February 2008 Issue

Published on: February 01, 2008

ParentMap February 2008 issue

Feature: The Play Debate — Are kids too pressured, pushed and prepped? The experts weigh in

Ages & Stages:

Getting school ready: Art from the start

Out & About:

Read: Getting graphic: Why comics are good for kids

Media: This month's featured media

Voice: Spread the word about maternal profiling

Giving Together: ParentMap's 2008 Giving Together Partners

From our Readers: Letters to the Editor

About this issue

Dear Reader,

Joking with my fellow late-nighter and talented art director Emily Johnson about whether this issue needs more of the requisite little hearts heart(1 for you) to acknowledge Valentine’s Day got me thinking about my passionately playful and fanatical heart-drawing heart (1 for her) third child, Maya, who is 6. She has one of those blissful upbeat temperaments and draws dozens of hearts daily to give away to those she deems worthy. Given my collection, she is liberal in her assessments.

The enormous difference in our kids’ personalities often has us parents wondering, “Could they all have really come from the same parents?” Conversely, I am a fundamentally different mom today than when I started on this divine and seemingly infinite parenting journey 21 years ago. My kids are strategically spaced over 2 decades, and these days, the big ones mumble with confusion, “Is that tranquil composed redhead boxing with Maya on the new Wii (my first video game experience — and I get a workout!) the same mom of our youth?” Their own early years were more about “Leapster than leapfrog.” (“The Play Debate".)

Linda Morgan, our research-passionate associate editor and education writer provides an efficiently condensed history lesson of educational reform as a platform to launch the discussion on the current state of the play debate.

I say: Play with a vengeance! I do know that — regardless of math and science skills — the following is a scientifically proven statement, reinforced daily in my own family: “Kids are ready for kindergarten (or college!) if they are happy, well-adjusted, independent, and confident, and if they are ready to leave home, listen and get along with others.”

Can you imagine the learning going on as you try to follow the calls to “swing your partner” at a square dance? Regardless of my Chicago urban youth aversion to swing dance, I won’t miss 2008 Grammy nominee Buck Howdy when he comes to town, swinging and singing about chickens and more.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

—Alayne Sulkin, Publisher/Editor

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