Cry before you buy

The typically heart-tugging ads we saw around Christmas carried through to the Olympics; some tear-jerkers are still hanging around.

Typically involving children and their parents, emotive marketing has been a growing edge for advertisers. Many ads which aired in recent months featured dads and daughters.

Some of the ads are beautifully orchestrated, even though I can’t figure out what they are trying to sell.


A long term investment

If you have been reading with your child each day, your student will soon demonstrate the value of your investment on annual achievement tests.

But according to recent research, it could be years before you see the importance of reading daily with your child. Your efforts today are a long-term investment.

Literacy builds life skills, because reading is so much more than language.

Researchers have shown that reading increases a child’s executive function: paying attention, setting goals, controlling impulses and behavior.

So listen as your child reads to you. Or, let your child listen as you read to him. Your investment will pay off.

Soft skills vs hard skills

Students and teachers focus on a single goal this month: preparing for academic testing.

Test season comes around every year, even though a growing number of parents are starting to recognize children should also be taught soft skills during the school day.

Having integrity, perseverance and problem-solving skills are examples of soft skills. These character traits are critical to success in the adult world, but are only incidentally taught in school, where hard skills rule. An unfortunate truth.

More plastic than fish

Plastic is a huge problem, especially for fish: in just three years, experts estimate there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.

Enter: edible packaging.

Earth-friendly packaging alternatives are on their way to your house. Look for mushroom, barley, wheat and milk based plastic substitutes.

Kids might be the first to notice: edible does not equal appetizing:>)

Logo love

Interesting to reflect how the message sent by logo wear changes with the generations….

Long ago, luxe brands reflected a level of exclusiveness.

Then we went through a time when brands were avoided.

Now, one of our grandsons feels that clothing with a swoosh or Under Armour logo is like a “uniform” for his tribe. His logo shirt communicates he belongs to the group, while older kids are all about brand personalization…

A reflection of how our ever-evolving culture even invades our closets.

You are important

“Quality time with people close to me” ranked first in recent research. Those surveyed: 9-11 year olds in the U.S.

Although tweens frequently go through a “smart mouth” season that can last for years, spending time with family ranks as their top activity. This result was identical to research findings five years ago.

Population replacement?

The shift toward smaller families is becoming noticeable.

Some school districts have already recorded declining enrollment, a sure indication that funding changes are on the horizon, too.

Researchers note that Millennials continue to delay having children. The number of births in the U.S. isn’t keeping up with the number of deaths. Can you hear the cheers from fans of negative population growth?