1 Mar

Risk in Cultivating Positive Self-Esteem

If you are like me, reading an article entitled:

“Could do better? The risks of cultivating positive self-esteem.” draws my attention.

I mean, are there risks in cultivating positive self-esteem???

Well, I can only say it is something that has never occurred to me. I suppose this is why there are researchers, academics and there are the rest of us. I was given this article by my husband when he was doing his doctorate in education. This topic is a part of education psychology and I found it really intriguing.

You can download it here with the shortcut link below for your reading pleasure (when you find the time…)


Let me know what you think.

Have a great day!

22 Dec

Boost IQ with Music

If you walk into the classical music section of a CD shop, you will quite easily notice CDs packaged with baby photos and touting IQ boosting, immune system improving, life experience enhancing effects of classical music.

Here’s an example from a CD cover: “Classical Baby is essentially the ultimate survival guide for new parents and babies. Featuring some of the very best classical recordings spread over two CDs, it aims to both stimulate and entertain your baby in his/her first two years of life.

“Often referred to as the ‘Mozart Effect’, the common theory is that the intellectual properties within classical compositions boosts IQ, improves health and the immune system, and generally enhances the quality of a child’s early life experiences.”

I knew about this “Mozart Effect” and, somehow, had the idea that classical music does have some positive effects on the brain. Where I got this idea I really don’t know. And I do own several of these CDs some of which were gifts from friends.

So, does classical music really help babies in ways it is marketed to?

Apparently… not.

The “Mozart Effect” should actually be called the “Mozart Myth”.

Researches do show that listening to classical music DOES have effects on certain aspects of our intelligence. BUT, and this is a BIG “BUT”, the effects are short-term, temporal and they wear off within 15 minutes.

These findings eventually got blown out of proportion by the media in the 1990s and began receiving widespread applications on babies although no scientific study actually examined the effects on the intelligence of babies.

So, there you have it, another urban legend!

Here’s the good news. Although listening to classical music has no effect on the intelligence of our children, it has been shown that DOING music actually helps enhance IQ.

This means that it is better to let your children learn to sing, play the piano, guitar or some sort of instrument because learning music involves key skills like self-discipline, thinking, memorization and long periods of focused attention and practising.

22 Nov

The Blue Elephant

Here’s a quick test for you:

Stop thinking of a blue elephant.

Go ahead. Stop thinking of a blue-coloured elephant.

Seems easy but when I was first asked to do this, I kept picturing a blue elephant in my mind!  And the more I tried to stop thinking of that blue elephant, the more that blue elephant stayed in my head.

I learned from this seemingly simple exercise that the human mind cannot handle negatives very well.

In order to “stop thinking of a blue elephant,” we actually had to think of the blue elephant first. And this happens automatically.

So, what effects do you think these instructions have:

* Do not cheat
* Stop smoking
* Do not speed
* Stop shouting

What’s more, what effects will such similar instructions have on our children?

Imagine telling our children “Don’t touch that”, “Don’t spill the milk”, “Stop crying”, “Don’t dirty your clothes.” We can be quite unconscious about such things.

The next thing we know, they have done exactly what we don’t want them to do.

If it is hard for us to stop thinking of the blue elephant, then our kids’ “disobedience” is quite understandable.

Fortunately, we can change this but it takes intention and consciousness on our part.

Negative instructions are OK insofar that we should always provide positive alternatives (which is something that we WANT them to do) for our kids.

For example,

“Please hold your cup and drink your milk carefully.”

“Calm down and clean your face.”

“Let’s stay in class today and have a fun time!”

Phew! Am I relieved research is churning out something this practical and useful! : )

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