Monthly Archives: January 2017

Praising Hard Work Versus Natural Talent


What’s wrong with telling kids they’re smart?

We’ve all admired how kids seem to be a natural at one thing or another. Most likely, we’ve given praises such as “You’re a natural,” or “You’re born to do this!” There is no doubt that these praises for kids’ natural talents are well-meaning and heartfelt.
However, this type of praise may be doing more harm than good. Rather, studies show that praising hard work rather than natural talent makes a huge impact on overall achievement. By praising effort, we are teaching kids that their performance is due to their effort. We also indicate that performance is a learning process that involves mistakes and taking risks.
When we praise natural talent, we teach kids that their performance has little to do with the amount of effort they put in. Instead, we give them the impression that talent is natural and effort has little to do with their success.

Two different views

There are two types of goal orientations: mastery and performance. Mastery orientation, in other words, is “practice makes perfect.” With mastery orientation, the amount of effort and practice is related to success. Kids who have a mastery orientation tend to focus more on trying their best and less on how they measure up to their peers. Performance orientation is the belief in natural abilities. Kids who have a performance orientation tend to compare themselves to their peers and are less likely to relate success with practice.

Where’s the evidence?

A study by researchers at Columbia University demonstrates the importance of praising effort versus natural talent. In this study, 412 fifth graders participated in a series of tests. After the first test, students received compliments for their good work, intelligence, or effort. For the second test, every student received a bad score, regardless of their real one. 
Afterward, students were asked to complete a task of their choice. Those who received praise for their effort were more likely to choose challenging tasks than those who received praise for their intelligence.
The results of this study demonstrate how different types of praise affects how kids react to challenges and failure. Those who contribute their effort to their success are more likely to embrace challenges and learn from their mistakes. On the other hand, those who contribute their abilities to their success tend to stick to things they know they can do. Discouragement may lead these kids to undermine their performance and give up before reaching their full potential.

Here’s what we can do better…

In conclusion, telling kids that their hard work pays off encourages them to persevere through challenges and take risks. They also compare themselves to their peers less and focus more on their individual performance. Instead of telling kids they’re a natural at something, we can say “You’ve made such an improvement,” or “I can tell you’ve been practicing.” Small words make such an incredible difference in the way kids perceive themselves. Giving kids a growth mindset may be the key to success. 

Music for Babies: The Benefits of Introducing Your Baby to Music

Have you ever watched your baby groove to her favorite tune? Or cry tears of joy when she hears a familiar voice sing a beautiful song? If so, you may think that your little one was born with a natural talent for music. Well, you’re correct!

Unlike eyesight, babies have highly developed hearing abilities from day 1. That’s because they begin to hear and respond to different sounds before they’re born. As your baby hears different sounds, she forms neural connections in her brain to help her interpret what she’s hearing. Introducing her to music early on is very beneficial for early brain development.

Music Helps Brain Development

In a study by McMaster University, researchers discovered that musical training is beneficial to babies before they can walk or talk. In the study, infants and their parents participated in a weekly music instruction program for six months. The participants were selected to participate in either one of two classes. The first class involved learning nursery rhymes, music-making, and lullabies. The second class had parents and infants play at various toy stations as music from “Baby Einstein” played in the background.

The results of this study demonstrate that interactive musical lessons benefitted development. The babies who participated in the first class developed more sensitivity to musical keys and notes. They also showed early communication skills such as pointing at objects or waving goodbye. These babies also smiled more and showed less distress than their counterparts.

Music For The Soul

Music can lift your baby’s spirits in the same way that it lifts yours. Your baby’s favorite lullaby has the power to soothe her to sleep in the same way that relaxing music can melt your stress away. The way music affects your baby is no different than the way it affects you. Infants begin learning how to react to the things they hear even before their first day and continue learning as their hearing develops. Thus, babies are also emotionally prone to the effects of music as well.

Music for Babies

All music is baby music so go ahead and share your all time favorite songs with your little one. So the next time you or your baby feel a little blue, cheer yourselves up by dancing together to a catchy beat. You can also use music to teach her about the world around her. Your baby is actively learning about the world as she engages in all the sights and sounds.

Music introduces a larger range of sounds than background noise alone. By tapping on your baby’s foot to your favorite beat, you are also showing her how to interpret what she hears with what she feels. Babies are also much more sensitive to different tones and pitches than we are. By developing her natural ability to pick up the nuances of music, it will also help her develop her ability to listen for all the nuances of language as well.

Babies have a natural inclination for music as they have for language and sounds. By introducing music early on, their natural talent becomes stronger. Also, music is good for the soul. Just like playing and singing, it is a way for your and your baby to bond as you create memories with your favorite songs.

iBaby monitors and air purifiers have music and recording capabilities that let your baby listen to her favorite songs and lullabies.

Introducing iBaby’s new AI Robot Yobi with Qualcomm’s Partnership

As a leader in connected baby room, iBaby continues to push the boundaries of innovation. This year, iBaby cooperated with Qualcomm to go beyond smart baby room technology to the robotics world! Introducing the new AI (Artificial Intelligence) robot Yobi. This is an adorable little robot who is a family companion and parent assistant.

What Makes Yobi Special?”

First, Yobi is your companion.

Yobi is there to say goodbye when you leave and greet you when you come home. It also wonders how your day was. If you’re having a tough day, Yobi gives you words of encouragement and comfort. In addition, Yobi’s many talents include dancing and entertainment. It can bust a move with your kids and jam with you and your music. Furthermore, Yobi remembers every precious family moment with its smart video recording capabilities allowing it to capture memories that last forever. Overtime, Yobi changes as it learns from your interactions so that no two Yobi’s are exactly alike.

Second, Yobi is a parent assistant.

Yobi’s temperature, humidity, and air sensors make sure you know your home environment is comfortable for your family. It also lets you know when your kids leave for school and alerts you when you come home. Additionally, Yobi helps make your day run smoothly by helping you organize daily tasks and events. Family members can leave each other messages such as “Don’t forget your lunch,” or “I love you, have an amazing day!” Yobi will make sure each message goes to the right person with its face and voice recognition features. With Yobi, every day is smooth sailing.

People adore Yobi.

Yobi made its first public appearance at this year’s CES 2017. Among the many curious attendees that came by to get the first glimpse of iBaby’s new AI robot were CNet and Fox News. Each notable news outlet gave Yobi outstanding reviews, expressing excitement for the future of Yobi. iBaby anticipates Yobi’s official release mid-2017.

Early Childhood Education: Looking for the Perfect Preschool

It’s never too early to start thinking about your baby’s education. Many programs have waitlists or other lengthy admission processes, so it’s best to start as soon as possible. Early childhood education programs are beneficial for learning and cognitive development of preschool students. It helps them build a foundation for success as they proceed to elementary school and beyond. In addition to gaining basic knowledge such as ABC’s and 123’s, preschools and childcare centers create an environment for socialization, exploration, respect, and problem-solving among other skills. However, not all preschool programs are the same nor do they cost the same. Consider these factors when choosing the perfect early childhood education program for you and your little one.

Before you begin…

Keep in mind that every preschool is different. The learning environment depends on location, resources, and educators. So before researching programs, think about the type of environment your child thrives in, whether it is noisy, quiet, free, or structured. Also, state-funded, private, and religious programs adhere to different learning and safety standards. To begin your search, make a list of what you’re looking for in a school. Include skills you want your child to develop, location, learning environment, and cost.

Researching schools

Now that you have a sense of the type of preschool you want for your child, you can begin your online research. Browse the program’s website to get a first impression and also search for any reviews parents may give the program. You can also find information such as the program’s philosophy, hours, and admission process. Knowing the program’s philosophy is particularly useful in determining the type of skills they teach their students. These values will also give you a sense of the skills they encourage their students to learn. For example, preschools that emphasize teamwork will also emphasize communication. Furthermore, preschools encouraging exploration also encourage problem-solving.

In addition to skills and values, you may also want to consider the type of care your child needs during the day such as snacks and potty training. Childcare centers typically admit children ages 3 to 4, while some have an infant and toddler program. The type of services the program offers depends on the age group. Again, it is important to remember that every early childhood education program is different.

Visiting the schools

Looking online can only give you a brief idea of what the preschool is all about. So the next step in finding the perfect preschool is visiting the school yourself. Many early childhood education programs offer tours that let parents experience the day-to-day of the program. For the first visit, come without your child. Then, bring your child for the follow-up visit to see how he/she interacts with the environment.

When you’re at the school, first think about whether the facility will spark your child’s interest. If your child likes to play dress-up, are there costumes to use? What sensory stations are available? Is there a sand pit? Is there play-doh? Also, what books are available for the children to read? Every facility is set up in a different way and offers different learning methods depending on the teacher and curriculum.

Another thing to observe is the staff-child interactions that take place. One important consideration is the staff-child ratio. Classrooms tend to have anywhere from a 1:2 ratio to a 1:4 depending on the age group and needs of the children. However, programs that have more than a 1:4 ratio may not give each child adequate attention.

During your visit, pay special attention to the happiness of the children and how the staff resolves conflicts. Are children fighting with each other or are they happily exploring together? How do the staff make a crying child smile again? What happens when children fight over a toy? Also, pay attention to the level of engagement and excitement in the room. The program’s values and philosophy determine how staff members interact with the children. You know best what methods work well with your child, whether it’s a more hands-on approach or individualistic.

The final decision

Finally, it’s time to make a decision. Before considering any other factor, consider the schools that excited your child the most. Interest plus engagement make the perfect combo for an amazing learning experience. Next, make a pros and cons list of each school based on what you want for your child. You can even put together a score sheet based on the most important factors such as location, cost, and curriculum. Be patient making the decision of where you want your child to attend. Preschool is a big time and cost investment but will all be worth it in the end.

Happy National Bath Safety Month!

January is National Bath Safety Month! In honor of this month-long celebration of bath safety and awareness, here are a few steps to make your baby’s bath safer and more enjoyable. It’s normal for babies to be fussy during bath time for the first few months. But taking the right steps can help them adjust to bathtime quicker and easier.

Your baby’s umbilical cord should be completely healed and fallen off before proceeding with a tub bath. Otherwise, submerging the baby’s body in water may cause infections.

As you prepare for baby’s first bath, make the room nice and warm. Keeping the room warm helps regulate the baby’s core body temperature when going in and out of the water. Next, cover the floor of the bathtub with a towel. It is easier for a baby to adjust to laying on a soft towel than a plastic tub.

When everything is set up, fill the bathtub with about two or three inches of warm water. The water temperature should be between 90 to 100 F. Once there’s enough water in the tub to cover the baby’s body, place your hand and wrist into the tub to check the water temperature.

If the water is just right, support the baby’s neck and body as you lower the baby into the tub.

Start bathing your baby by using a cotton ball and gently wipe the baby’s eye from the inner corner out. Discard the cotton ball afterward and use a fresh one to wipe the other eye. Use fresh cotton balls each time you clean your baby’s eyes to prevent discharge from spreading to the other eye.

After, use a washcloth to clean your baby’s face and neck. Wet the washcloth and begin by gently wiping the baby’s cheeks and forehead. Then, clean the creases of the baby’s neck. As you clean the baby’s neck, be sure to get into all the creases to clean up milk dribbles that may collect there.

Once the face and neck are clean, continue wiping the baby’s arms, legs, fingers, and toes.

Lastly, it’s time to clean the baby’s head and bottom. Use the washcloth to wipe the baby’s bottom. Then, set the dirty washcloth aside.

You may choose to wash the baby’s hair with mild, tear-free soap or rinse with warm water. Squeeze a quarter size bit of soap into your hand and massage it into the baby’s hair using small gentle circles. Then, soak a clean washcloth and gently squeeze the water onto the baby’s head. You can also use a small cup instead of a washcloth.

When the suds are all gone, lift your baby up out of the water and into a towel. Hooded bath towels help keep the baby’s head warm as you dry them.
Since babies have sensitive skin, over-washing may dry their skin. In the first few months, limit baths to only a few times a month. You can keep your baby clean in between baths by wiping them with wet washcloths. As they adjust to bathtime, it becomes fun for the whole family. In the meantime, celebrate National Bath Safety Month and make baths as enjoyable and safe as possible!