For 75 years, Highlights’ magazine has received thousands of letters and email from kids every year, and we answer every single one. ‘Dear Highlights’ has always served as a way to help ease children’s concerns and help encourage them to become their best selves. In so doing, we’ve sustained an ongoing, authentic dialogue with kids that has deepened our understanding of their worries and fears, as well as their hopes and dreams. Our goal of the’ Dear Highlights’ podcast is is to elevate the voices of children from these letters and help parents raise kids to be curious, creative, caring, and confident.
Preparing Siblings for New Baby
Helping your school-age child adjust to becoming a big brother or sister can be hard. After all, your child has grown used to your current relationship, whether they have all your attention or share it with an another sibling. And now their world will turn upside down. Are there ways to better prepare your child(ren) for the birth of a sibling? Welcoming a new baby is the subject of this week’s Dear Highlights podcast. Host Christine French Cully talks with New York University Professor of Early Childhood, Erin O’Connor, co-founder of Scientific Mommy (https://www.scientificmommy.com/)--a platform designed to bring together parents, researchers, and teachers around issues of child development--for tips on how best to approach your child about the new baby, when to start an age-appropriate discussion, what should happen on the big day, and living together peacefully once the new baby comes home.
Father's Day Tribute
In honor of Father’s Day, we’re talking about dads in this episode of our Dear Highlights podcast. We know that kids look to their fathers to provide a feeling of security, both physical and emotional. Children want to make their fathers proud, and an involved father helps promote a child’s inner growth and strength. Yet many children write to us about their dads, longing for a different relationship, one that is more connected. Our podcast host, Christine French Cully talks with John Badalament, author of The Modern Dads Dilemma: How To Stay Connected With Your Kids In A Rapidly Changing World and the Director of the acclaimed documentary for PBS All Men Are Sons: Exploring the Legacy of Fatherhood about the role today’s fathers play in family life. He offers insight and tips on how dads can become more connected with their kids, starting when kids are very young.
Saving the Planet
This week’s Dear Highlights podcast focuses on kids who want to save the planet. Host Christine French Cully talks with Highlights Science Editor Andy Boyles, who provides tips for parents on supporting kids’ interest in caring for the planet and how to talk to kids about the environment. For years, kids have written to Highlights about animal rights, conservation, climate change, littering, pollution, and more. This podcast will help families learn the many ways they can get involved to help save our planet.
Importance of Play
I have so much homework, when will I have time to play? This kid lament is one many parents hear daily and to help, this episode of the Dear Highlights podcast tackles the importance of play in a kid’s life. Host Christine French Cully talks with play expert, Temple professor Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, about how children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less. Yet many parents, educators, and policy makers worry that playtime takes children away from precious academic activities. Dr. Hirsh-Pasek discusses why play is important, the purpose and need for play in a child’s life, how play influences learning, and simple ways parents can encourage playful learning at home.
It may be hard to fathom, but children as young as age 8 can have suicidal thoughts, and many parents don’t know when their children are in crisis. In this week’s Dear Highlights podcast and in honor of Mental Health Awareness month, our host Christine French Cully, talks with Dr. John Ackerman, a child clinical psychologist and the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research (CSPR) (https://www.onoursleeves.org/) at Nationwide Children's Hospital (NCH) in Columbus, Ohio, about risk factors and treatments for mood disorders and suicide in children, and how to tell if your child is at risk.
For many parents, a child talking back or being rude is met with immediate anger or sternness—perhaps an instinctual response from their own upbringing or beliefs about respecting our elders. In this week’s Dear Highlights podcast, we tackle dealing with disrespect in terms of back talk and how a rude exchange can become a teachable moment. Mom and educator Dr. Chawanna B. Chambers talks with our podcast host Christine French Cully on how to teach a child who is seemingly acting disrespectful to manage their responses. For Chambers, her 6-year-old speaking rudely was an opportunity to teach a lesson about our brains and how we can head off a problematic interaction before it starts.
This is excellent!
What a great podcast. The letters Highlights receives from kids gives a really unique insight into what they are actually struggling with. I love that this program seeks to really listen to kids’ voices and respond. I think it is invaluable to parents or really anyone - these lessons go for all of us. Thank you for sharing these lessons!