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ParentMap, September 2012 Issue

ParentMap, September 2012


When parents, teachers and experts talk about education, what typically comes up are subjects like reading, writing, arithmetic. But research shows that growing the heart is key to the development of an altruistic, empathetic, kind human being. Our resource-rich feature story and new compassion portal outline how kids and families can take everyday steps to change the world through empathy and education.

For years doctor have recommended no screen time for babies or toddlers and strict limits for older kids. But experts are now saying certain technology can boost brain power and even help learning. See what’s new on the learning debate, tech in the classroom, screen addiction research and teen sexting.

It’s fall! And how lucky are we in the Greater Puget Sound region to be a center for family theater, music and dance. Our Fall Arts Preview is your guide. 

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Read the entire issue online, or scroll down for links and cool online-only content.


Ages & Stages:
0-4 Screen scene: Do video games boost brainpower?
5-9 Digital revolution: How technology's transforming teaching
10-13 Too much tech? Tweens and screen addiction
14-18 They're sexting, and we know it: The problems and perils of social media

Someone you should know: Shana Bestock of Seattle Public Theater

Feature: Compassion: Changing the world through empathy and education

Out & About: Fall arts preview: Must-see musicals, dance, theater and more

Giving Together
Green Bites
Mind + Body

About this issue

Maya, Alayne, SophieTeach your children well

“That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it.” –Hillel

The Charter for Compassion is a call to restore the Golden Rule. We all know it in its many forms, yet often fail to effectively practice or teach it to our children. A recent call from my friend Yaffa Maritz, founder of the Community of Mindful Parents, radically transformed our scheduled September feature from “Technology in Education” to an article that we hope you will read and share: “Compassion: Changing the world through empathy and education.”

Yaffa’s animated appeal to participate in a call on the Charter for Compassion had me hooked. “Dial in at 8 a.m. You’ll be amazed by the worldwide movement around empathy and education from Karachi and Amman to Seattle.”

I did. And gathered across a dozen time zones were a variety of individuals — with every accent you can imagine — sharing innovative ideas and an array of effective programs, all carrying the potential to make this world a better place.

Our hope is that reading this feature will inspire you to motivate your children, along with their school’s leadership, to adopt a daily compassion practice or a fresh, inventive year-round compassion curriculum.

Each of us can help create a counterbalance to the growing bullying epidemic in our schools, and the mean-spirited ethos in popular media. Each of us can help model and create a kinder world for our children.

Great appreciation goes to the talented editor of the Charter for Compassion website, Kristin Miller, who lives in the center of this worldwide activity, for accepting our request to write this feature article. Our coverage of this topic — with tips, resources and stories of compassion in action — continues online all month at

Self-compassion helps us to see ourselves clearly and make needed changes

to reach our full potential. This month’s Mind + Body forces me to reflect upon the back-to-school reality that is days away. I dread the transformation from summer’s blessedly unhurried finale at the beach in Michigan with family, friends and food overflowing, to the fall frenzy freak-out. Winning advice: Model self-care, prioritize obligations and make a conscious effort to slow down!

Fall Arts is a perfect way to prioritize family time this fall. Is your family the wild n’ wacky Duck for President type? Maybe they’d prefer the artful Global Dance Party? The guide is chock-full of inspiring silly, serious and essential arts surprises for all ages.


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