17 November 2021

The State of the World's Children 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about the mental health of a generation of children. But the pandemic may represent the tip of a mental health iceberg – an iceberg we have ignored for far too long.  The State of the World’s Children 2021  examines child, adolescent and caregiver mental health. It focuses on risks and protective factors…, Uncertainty. Loneliness. Grief. These powerful emotions have enveloped the lives of many millions of children, young people and families. Children and young people could feel the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health and well-being for many years to come. On My Mind: Promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health. Ramjan (12),…, The high cost of low investment, Despite all this, governments and societies are investing far too little in promoting, protecting and caring for the mental health of children, young people and their caregivers. We pay a high economic price for this neglect – around US$387.2 billion worth of lost human potential that could go towards national economies each year. The cost in…, Unheard calls for help, Young mental health advocates have not been standing by in silence. Many have been bravely calling for mental health to be addressed in different contexts around the world. In the  State of the World’s Children 2021 , some have spoken out about their lived experiences with mental health and well-being, the challenges their friends and peers face,…, Understanding mental health: Breaking barriers, Our inability to address mental health can be measured by how little societies are willing to talk about or understand it. The fear of harsh words, laughter and abuse that underline the stigma around mental health make it harder for children, adolescents and caregivers to express their feelings. “With stress and mental illness, for many it’s a…, It’s time for leadership, UNICEF calls for commitment, communication and action to promote good mental health for every child, protect vulnerable children and care for children facing the greatest challenges. Commitment means strengthening leadership to set the sights of a diverse range of partners and stakeholders on clear goals and ensuring investment in solutions and…, What UNICEF is doing, UNICEF works to help safeguard the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of children, adolescents, parents and caregivers in some of the world’s most challenging settings. We have also worked to address the global impact of the pandemic on mental health. On My Mind: Promoting, protecting and caring for children’s mental health. Rawan Nabulsi,…, ON MY MIND T H E S TAT E O F T H E W O R L D S C H I L D R E N 2 0 2 1 Promoting, protecting and caring for childrens mental health Published by UNICEF since 1980, The State of the Worlds Children report seeks to deepen knowledge and raise awareness of key issues affecting children and advocates for solutions that improve childrens lives.…
15 June 2021

Building babies’ brains through play: Mini Parenting Master Class

Did you know that the most important interaction you can have with your child is through play? Harvard University's Dr. Jack Shonkoff explains the most important thing a parent can do to support their child's brain development., Transcript of 'Building babies’ brains through play: Mini Parenting Master Class' video, "I’m Jack Shonkoff. Did you know that the most important interaction you can have with your child is through play?  Building your baby’s brain sounds a little bit intimidating so step back and take a deep breath.  Parenting is much more of an art than it is a science.  I’m Jack Shonkoff, and this is my mini parenting master class on building…, 1. Why are the early years of a child's life so critical for brain development?, The early years are important because the experiences young children have and the relationships they have with the important people in their lives literally shape the development of their brain. And that early foundation affects all the learning and behavior and physical and mental health that follows through a lifetime. It’s impossible to…, 2. What is the most important thing a parent can do to support brain development? , The most important thing that any parent can do to support the development, and particularly the brain development of a young child, is to get to know that young child, get to be able to read that child’s cues, get to be able to engage in what we call “serve and return” interaction., 3. What is 'serve and return' and what does it look like? , Serve and return is just like play. I’m getting better!  So this serve and return; you get better with practice.  The reason why ‘serve and return’ accurately describes what’s important about the interaction is that it goes in both directions. A baby serves a smile, a coo, a babble, a gesture, and the parent or other adult caring for that child…, 4. How is 'serve and return' related to play between parent and child?, For very young children, all important learning takes place within the context of play. Play is exploration. Play is trying things. Play is trying to kind of figure out when you do one thing, something else happens.  Play is trying to develop a sense of mastery of the world. A lot of that is done by providing an environment that is safe and…, 5. How would you advise a parent on how to do 'serve and return' in a playful way? , I would start by making the idea of ‘serve and return’ to be something that is easy, friendly and relaxing. Play can occur when you are feeding a child, when you are changing the child’s clothes, when you are bathing a child. All of those are opportunities for playful interaction and learning between adults and children. To help parents understand…, 6. Why are some games parents can play with their child to help boost their brains? , In infancy with very young babies, it’s all about interaction, kind of visual, sound, looking your baby in the eye, making that personal connection, being sensitive to your baby’s feelings. Here are some things people may not think about as games, but they’re games; they’re play.  Peekaboo – putting a cloth over your head. “Where’s baby, oh here…
04 June 2021

How music affects your baby’s brain: Mini Parenting Master Class

Music can play an important role in your child's growth, even before birth. Exposing your child to music ignites all areas of child development. And doing this early can help ensure that your baby grows up healthy. We sat down with music expert Dr. Ibrahim Baltagi to find out how music helps to develop a young child’s brain and where lullabies…, Transcript of “How music affects your baby’s brain: Mini Parenting Master Class” video, Did you know a lullaby will make your baby calmer because it slows down her heart? Music is the most important thing in our life. Is your baby getting enough music? My name is Dr. Ibrahim Baltagi and this is my Mini Parenting Master Class on how music affects your baby’s brain., What effect does music have on babies in the womb?, It is proven that music has a role in brain development before birth. Listening to music during pregnancy will not only have a soothing and uplifting effect on the pregnant woman, but also a positive influence on the unborn baby. Around 16─18 weeks of pregnancy, the little one hears its very first sound. By 24 weeks, the little ears start to…, What music should a pregnant mother listen to?, In the third trimester, the baby will be definitely able to hear the music you play. Classical music, gentle sounds like lullabies, nice melodies that inspire happiness all are designed to be soothing., How can music help develop a young child’s brain?, Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. Learning to play a musical instrument can improve mathematical learning, and even increases school scores., How can you use music to soothe your baby to help her sleep?, Music inspires emotions, so music can be a popular recommendation to soothe the little one peacefully. And it is a welcome addition to the baby’s sleep routine. The music must be soft, soothing, relaxing, to create a calm atmosphere to nurture their sleeping patterns. A familiar tune or music or song becomes like a session of music therapy. Slow,…, Where do lullabies come from?, The English word “lullaby” is thought to come from the “lala” or “lulu” sounds made by mothers or nurses to calm children. “Bye” is another lulling sound, or a term to say “goodnight”. A lullaby, or so-called cradle song, has a story to soothe babies and small children to sleep. Lullabies are found in every culture and sung in every language.…, What are the best musical instruments for toddlers?, There are many ways in which you can create music with your child for free. Vocal chords are the only innate instruments that are created in a human being. There are other instruments that we can use, which is percussion like clapping, snapping, stomping and patting on your thighs. Also, there is  tons of stuff around your home such as if you get…, Can music help your child socialize?, There’s something about listening to music or playing it with other people that brings its own social buzz, making you feel connected to those around you. Music at early ages helps children express themselves and share feelings. Even at an early age, they can sway, bounce, move their hands in response to music they hear. They can even make up…