"Tweens and teens who are socializing and navigating relationships online and in-real-life face challenges unheard of in previous generations. Some might mistakenly confuse the sending of explicit photos and messages with a level of intimacy that might not exist, and others might not fully understand the long-term social, emotional and legal consequences of sending, sharing and storing explicit photos (parents, check your local laws). According to the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common Project, teens may benefit from conversations focused on promoting the skills needed to develop and maintain healthy relationships." Read more inThe Washington Post.
"For parents, talking about sex is hard. But there’s abundant evidence that we are falling short on the basics, including consent in a digitally drenched world. More than 60% of kids in a nationally representative survey of more than 3,000 students by Harvard’s Making Caring Common project had never spoken with their parents about 'being sure your partner wants to have sex and is comfortable doing so before having sex,' and a similar share had never talked about the 'importance of not pressuring someone to have sex with you.'" Read more in Quartz.
"[Richard Weissbourd] said that parents and teachers, in talking about sexuality with young people, need to go well beyond platitudes like 'be respectful' to others, and in discussions of abstinence and safe sex. Instead, they need to engage young people in meaningful discussions." Read more in Harvard Gazette.
"There are a number of factors contributing to a rise in anxiety among teens. Local community trauma, poverty, and continual reports of violence from around the world can frighten young people. Social media rarely allows teens to take a break from their peers. And in many middle- and upper-middle class communities, according to psychologist Richard Weissbourd, today’s most 'potent ingredient' is 'achievement pressure' — the pressure to excel across academic subjects and a wide range of extracurriculars, culminating in the stress of putting together an impeccable college admissions package." Read more in KQED's MindShift.
"'The age of the kid matters a lot,' says Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard Graduate School of Education senior lecturer who has researched on children’s perceptions of misogyny and relationships. 'If a six or seven year old asks a question because they hear from the news or through a friend, it’s important to be prepared for that question.'" Read more in NBC News Parent Toolkit.
"According to researchers at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, almost all parents want their kids to be kind, with 96 percent of parents in their study citing moral character as a top priority for their kids. Their kids, however, are hearing something else entirely. Eighty-one percent of 10,000 kids in the survey thought their parents' number one concern was their happiness. Not surprisingly, those kids also wanted to be happy (80 percent) over being kind (20 percent)." Read more in Romper.
"[Richard] Weissbourd says interventions like the buddy bench shouldn’t be done casually and can be more meaningful if teachers encourage all types of students to use the bench. 'I think it's also important,' he says, 'for the kids who are popular to recognize the strengths of the kids who are unpopular and to recognize that they have a role to play in building a caring and inclusive community.' Listen to the piece on WBGH.
"When children see the men around them in positions of power in the office and relaxing at home while the women are packing lunches, planning birthday parties and scheduling appointments, they internalize the message that men lead and women help. According to one study, nearly a quarter of teenage girls and 40 percent of teenage boys said men make better political leaders than women; just 8 percent of girls and 4 percent of boys said women are better leaders. But both boys and girls preferred women in traditional female roles, such as caring for children." Read more in The New York Times.
"[Richard Weissbourd's] recent research shows young people are struggling with how to conceive of romantic relationships, let alone how to actually navigate them. 'It's a deep underlying anxiety,' he says, 'so they're looking for wisdom.' And it's not enough to just give them 'disaster prevention' kinds of sex ed classes, that only deal with pregnancy, STD's and sexual violence, he adds.
'I think we are failing epically to have basic conversations with young people about the subtle, tender generous, demanding work about learning how to love,' he says. According to his data, about 70 percent of young people crave those conversations." Listen to the piece on NPR.
"The experiences of Falcone and Garcia back up the findings of a long-term, nationwide Harvard University Graduate School of Education study called The Children We Mean to Raise. 'Protecting' children from the bad and the sad, the researchers found, can rob them of the chance to develop fundamental relationship skills for life. What does develop those skills: caring about others." Read more in Forbes.
"A recent campaign called 'Turning the Tide,' a project of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, is urging admissions deans to rethink the qualities they consider in applicants. In a report signed by representatives of about 200 campuses, colleges are asked to promote ethical character and service to others through the admissions process....
Richard Weissbourd, a senior lecturer at Harvard, who leads the initiative, recommends that colleges define service in ways that might resonate with disadvantaged students. 'Many students don’t have opportunities to do community service,' he said. 'They’re taking care of their siblings, or they’re working part-time jobs to help their families. Colleges need to say, "That matters to us."'" Read more in The New York Times.
"[Sexual harassment] isn’t just happening among Hollywood actresses and the Harvey Weinsteins of the world. Harassment isn’t contained to adult workplaces. It’s happening among our children and we are doing shockingly little about it." Read more from Making Caring Common's Alison Cashin and Richard Weissbourd in The Washington Post.
"The single most important thing you can do, experts say, is to remind your children — both in words and deed — of the power of humanity. There are always people doing good and there are always ways to help.
'We can't become numb to this or any other tragedy,' said Richard Weissbourd, a child and family psychologist with Harvard’s School of Education and author of 'The Parents We Mean to Be.'" Read more in USA Today.
"These days basic decency, civility and compassion are imperiled in American life. Whether it’s divisive, finger-pointing politicians, the daily 'shout' shows, everyday social-media hostility, spikes in hate crimes or emboldened white supremacists, our public and communal life is embarrassingly, indeed dangerously debased." Read more from Making Caring Common's Richard Weissbourd and his colleague Howard Gardner in The Washington Post.