55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents | Roots of Action

Parents, are you ready for back-to-school? Teachers, would you like to share some great parenting articles with students’ families? 

This popular list of back-to-school articles was just updated for the 2018-2019 school year. It contains some of the latest thinking and research on learning, achievement, family well-being, parent engagement, special needs children, youth sports, media, technology, discipline, homework, bullying — many of the topics parents think about at back-to-school time. These articles also support the development of core abilities every child needs — curiosity, sociability, resilience, self-awareness, integrity, resourcefulness, creativity, and empathy (The Compass Advantage).

For “big picture” thinking about education and child development, check out my free eBook Reframing Success: Helping Children & Teens Grow from the Inside Out. It shows how grades and test scores are only one aspect of success and how we all nurture vital skills and abilities in young people. Also check out the very popular Parenting Promise at Roots of Action [now in English and Spanish] and a handout on the Compass Advantage framework, showing how parents and schools impact eight core abilities in youth.

Please read the articles below that pique your interest now and bookmark others for later. The newer articles are always at the beginning of each section. Many remain on my list because they are true gems. If you like the authors, be sure to follow them on social media. I’ve included links to Twitter and Facebook accounts to make following your favorites easier.

I guarantee you’ll find some meaningful food for thought here – whether it’s back-to-school time or anytime! You’ll also meet some great people who support children’s positive development and well-being. Happy reading!

Back-to-School Basics: Learning & Achievement

Quotes About Curiosity to Inspire Kid's Life-Long Learning | Roots of Action

1. Why We Still Need to Study the Humanities in a STEM World by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post. How humanities make us examine the entirety of the human condition and the complex moral issues of our time. Twitter

2. The Value of Homework by Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, M.S., LPCS, at Psychology Today. While homework has a time and place, students also need a healthy balance between life and school. TwitterFacebook

3. Learning to Be Human by Sophie Gilbert in The Atlantic. Why the humanities are in decline and why they’re more vital than ever. Twitter

4. Educating an Original Thinker by Jessica Lahey in The Atlantic. How teachers and parents can identify and cultivate children who think creatively and unconventionally. Twitter; Facebook

5. Teaching Beyond the Transmission of Knowledge by Miguel Angel Escotet, Ph.D., A call to action for teachers: Why teaching to the test inflicts a cost on students. Twitter

6. A Link Between Relatedness and Academic Achievement by Ugo Uche, LPC, at Psychology Today. The key to student success relies not just with the teacher’s attitude toward the student, but also with the student’s attitude towards the teacher. Parents help develop these attitudes! Twitter

7. Parents & Teachers: 6 Ways to Inspire the Teen Brain by Sandra Bond Chapman Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Get tips to stimulate the teen brain from findings in neuroscience. Twitter

8. The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in The Atlantic. Will your children become good critical thinkers? A look at the trend to protect children from feeling uncomfortable. Gregg’s Twitter; Jonathan’s Twitter

9. The Success Myth by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Rethink your ideas of what makes us successful, then apply them to your parenting. Twitter

Family Well-Being

10. The Dangers of Distracted Parenting by Erika Christakis at The Atlantic. When it comes to positive child development, why parents should worry less about kids’ screen time and more about their own. Twitter

11. Mr. Rogers Had a Simple Set of Rules for Talking to Children by Maxwell King at The Atlantic. Nine great tips for talking with preschoolers.

12. What to Say to Empathize Better with Your Child by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Clear and easy ways to connect with your child. TwitterFacebook

13. The Key to Success in Within Your Child’s Developing Mind by Michele Borba, Ed.D., at Roots of Action. What is the “special sauce” for raising kids? TwitterFacebook

14. Empowering Kids to Make Decisions by Joanne Foster, Ed.D., at The Creativity Post. Ten suggestions that can lead to positive outcomes for your child. Twitter; Facebook

15. The Downside of Checking Kids’ Grades Constantly by Jessica Lahey at The New York Times. Parental monitoring of grades can be detrimental to your child’s motivation. Learn why. TwitterFacebook

16. A Stress-Management Toolkit for Teens by Melanie Greenberg Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Stress among teens is on the rise. Learn how parents can help. Twitter; Facebook

17. Managing Screen Time Increases Family Joy by Rachel Macy Stafford at Roots of Action. Modeling the healthy use of technology can increase the well-being of your entire family. This article describes six small changes that have big impacts! Twitter; Facebook

18. Beginning Family Meetings by Jody McVittie, M.D., at SoundDiscipline. Back-to-school time is perfect for planning regular family meetings. TwitterFacebook

19. The Benefits of Play are “Oh, so Big!” by Katie Hurley at Roots of Action. Why parents should make time for lots of unstructured play time at home. TwitterFacebook

20. Positive Parenting: Powerful Ways to Raise Healthy Kids by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., at Roots of Action. Learn five ways to be a role model and help your kids believe in themselves.  Twitter; Facebook

21. Sibling Rivalry: Helping Children Learn to Work Through Conflicts by Laura Markham, Ph.D., at Roots of Action. Should parents intervene when siblings fight with one another? What’s the best way to help kids learn to work things out for themselves? Twitter; Facebook

Disadvantages of Social Networking: Surprising Insights from Teens

Parent-Readiness and Engagement

22. Twenty Ways You Can Help Your Children Succeed at School by Colorin Colorado. An excellent list in English and Spanish for successful parent engagement. Facebook; Twitter

23. 7 Ways to Cope with Anxiety about Your Teen by Susan Newman, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. How parents of teenagers can manage their fears. Twitter; Facebook

24. The Unique Power of Afterschool Learning by Leah Levy at Edudemic. Learn how afterschool programs impacts child development and what to look for in programs that “get it right.” Twitter

25. The Case for Dedicated Dads by Jessica Lahey at The Atlantic. Research shows that fathers play a critical role in their children’s education. Twitter

Social Anxiety | Body Image

26. Social Anxiety in Children: The 3 C’s to Growth by Rick Ackerly, M.Ed., at Roots of Action. Why social anxiety is part of the human condition and how to help your kids. TwitterFacebook

27. Body Image and Girls: 8 Ways to Help Our Daughters Thrive in a Thin-is-in World by Robyn Silverman, Ph.D., at DrRobynSilverman.com. Helping girls thrive means breaking some well-established habits. Facebook; Twitter

28. How to Help Kids with Social Anxiety by Katie Hurley, LCSW, at Psycom. Effective coping strategies parents can teach their child. TwitterFacebook

29. Answers to FAQ’s About Anxiety in Children and Adolescents by Signe Whitson, L.S.W., at Psychology Today. How to recognize the symptoms and teach kids skills for calming their brains. TwitterFacebook

Children with Special Needs, Abilities & Personalities

30. When Trauma Underlies Challenging Behaviors: New Answers for Vulnerable Children by Mona Delahooke, Ph.D., at MonaDelahooke.com. Sometimes aggressive behaviors are signs of early trauma. Learn why it is important to understand the roots of challenging behaviors.  Facebook; Twitter

31. Stress Relief for Families with ADHD: The Value of Mindfulness by Mark Bertin, M.D., at Roots of Action. Parenting a child with ADHD is demanding. Learn how to relieve stress. Twitter; Facebook

32. Changing Schools: Is It the Right Choice for My ADHD Child? by Susan Yellin at ADDitude. Why changing schools isn’t easy but may be the right choice for your child’s happiness and success. Twitter

33. Escaping the Disability Trap by Alia Wong at The Atlantic. A compelling read on how to prepare special needs students for the workforce. Twitter

34. Parenting Children with ADHD by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., at Roots of Action. Good advice on how to help children focus more, be better organized, and curb their impulsive behavior.  TwitterFacebook

Homework: A Back-to-School Reality

Quotes About Curiosity to Inspire Kid’s Life-Long Learning | Roots of Action

35. Reducing Homework Stress by Lori Lite at Stress Free Kids. Back-to-school and homework go together. Here are 10 tips to help parents, teens, and children with the daily homework routine. Twitter; Facebook

36. Who Takes Responsibility for Homework? What is the Parent’s Role? By Rick Ackerly at The Genius in Children. Helping kids understand the consequences and rewards of homework. Twitter; Facebook

37. Keep Your Middle Schooler Organized by Nancy Darling, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. How to help kids develop organizational skills and relieve the homework struggle. Twitter

Youth Sports

38.  The Downsides of America’s Hyper-Competitive Youth-Soccer Industry by Linda Flanagan at The Atlantic. How youth soccer is organized around the goal of producing a tiny group of elite players, at the expense of kids’ and parents’ well-being.

39. How to be a Positive and Winning Youth Sports Coach by Jennifer Fraser, Ph.D., at Roots of Action. 8 ways a sports coach can positively influence athletes. Facebook; Twitter

40. Soccer, Baseball or Karate? Top 10 Reasons to Involve Your Kids in Sports by Signe Whitson, L.S.W., at Psychology Today. Reasons why being a sports chauffer can pay big rewards. Twitter; Facebook

41. Emphasize the Internal Rewards by Jeffrey Rhoads at Inside Youth Sports. How to help your child experience the internal rewards of playing sports. TwitterFacebook

42. How to Help Kids Be “Winning” Losers in Youth Sports by Patrick Cohn, Ph.D., at The Ultimate Sports Parent Blog. Learn how losing in sports develops internal skills like perseverance, determination, and the ability to adapt to adversity. Twitter; Facebook


43. You Can’t Bully-Proof Your Kid—But These Things Help by Amber Leventry at Scary Mommy. Great advice for parents and the conversations to have with their children. Twitter

44. Mean Girls: Why Teenage Girls Can Be So Cruel by Chris Hudson at Understanding Teenagers. Learn how gender influences adolescent behavior in friendship groups and why girls have a natural tendency toward social aggression. Twitter; Facebook

45. How to Protect Kids from Cyber-Bullying by Michele Borba, Ed.D., How to keep an electronic leash on your child! Twitter; Facebook

Media & Technology

46. Kids’ Video Game Obsession Isn’t Really About Video Games by Nir Eyal at Psychology Today. What kids are looking for and not getting. Twitter; Facebook

47. Screen Time: The Impact on Kids and Parenting by Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. New research explains the negative effects of excessive screen time. What is the impact on parenting? Facebook

48. Addressing Screen Problems When They Emerge by Mike Brooks, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. Parenting strategies for managing healthy screen time. Twitter; Facebook

49. Parenting: Who is More Powerful: Technology or Parents? By Jim Jaylor, Ph.D., at Psychology Today. How are you flexing your parenting muscles against the strength of today’s media? Twitter; Facebook

50. Effect of Video Games on Child Development by Danielle Dai and Amanda Fry at Vanderbilt University. The positives and negatives of video games, according to research.

51. Teen Sexting: What messages should we be sending our teens about sexting? by Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, M.S., L.P.C., at Psychology Today. Learn about sexting and how to protect your teen. Twitter; Facebook


52. 5 Powerful Questions for Setting Limits on Your Child’s Behavior by Ariadne Brill at Positive Parenting Connection. Why setting limits helps your child know you care. TwitterFacebook

53. How to Handle Your Child’s Misbehaviour by Rachel Violet at Racheous. Learn about respectful parenting and how behavior should be a signal, not an offense. Twitter; Facebook

51. Is It Ever Okay to Spank a Child? by Andrea Nair at The Atlantic. Spanking is always a controversial subject. What’s your opinion? Twitter

54. 10 Steps to Guide Children Without Punishment by Laura Markham, Ph.D., at Aha Parenting. Research shows that punishing kids creates more misbehavior. What can you do to guide your children without punishment?  TwitterFacebook

55. The Trouble with Time-Outs by Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D., While time-outs have become a popular disciplinary practice, they are not without critics. Learn why time-out’s work and why they don’t. Twitter; Facebook

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents 2018 | Roots of Action

This article is republished and updated with new articles each year at RootsOfAction.com. Copyright 2012-2018 by Marilyn Price-Mitchell Ph.D. Please see reprint guidelines.

Published: August 21, 2018

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