Calming Fears About Halloween, Banning Squid Games, Motivating Students, and Creative Schools

This Netflix show is capturing the attention of 142 million households. Meanwhile, schools are alerting parents about the danger.

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This year, my daughter Lily has been obsessed with pumpkins. How many times can we go to the neighborhood pumpkin patch? Answer: more than 5, and it’s just as fun every time. So it was an easy choice to be a pumpkin this year for Halloween.

We’re having a Parents Club costume contest, and you’re invited to join! Just share a photo of your family’s costumes in our discussion board by Monday, November 1st. One lucky family will receive a mystery box prize!

If you were forwarded this email by a friend, you can sign up here.

Let’s get to it!

If you haven’t heard of Squid Game, you need to know

Many schools are banning Squid Game costumes for Halloween as children struggle to separate reality from fiction. The South Korean drama in which competitors in a game show face death if they fail to win is leading to students recreating brutal scenes at school.

In the show, a robot doll that can monitory movement shoots any players who move when they’re not supposed to during a game of Red Light, Green Light. Participants in the series play versions of ordinary school games (such as marbles, tug of war, etc) where losers are killed off. And on playgrounds, many children are becoming convinced that the game is real. As a result, teachers are asking parents not to dress up their children as characters from the show for Halloween.

The Netflix show which consists of nine episodes has been viewed by an estimated 142 million households worldwide, making the series the company’s “biggest TV show ever,” according to a letter to Netflix shareholders.

The show is rated for mature audiences, ages 16 and older, but experts are warning that it could be reaching audiences too young to handle its violence.

How to calm fears about Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and along with the fun costumes, parties, and candy, many children may be dealing with some “spooky” fears. In this quick tip episode we explain the developmental research behind why children have certain fears. In addition we will give parents some strategies to help kids feel safe and confident around the scary costumes, haunted houses, or the big cobweb decorations.

There was an exploratory study of developmental changes in children’s fears. Researchers explained that fears reflect the child’s increasing awareness of their world, and the development of imagination. For example the fear of monsters and ghosts. In addition, fears reflect the ability to differentiate internal representations from objective reality.

2 and 3-year-olds are creatures of habit. Any unfamiliar sight or sound can send them into a panic. Fantasy can have a significant role in children’s development and resolution of common fears such as nighttime fears.

Karsen and I went deeper on this topic in this week’s Quick Tip episode:

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On motivating students in school

An unmotivated student is unlikely to learn much at school. But there’s a wide range of opinion on what parents and teachers can do to create that motivation. In this quick tip episode, we will talk about what research has to say and how you can instill motivation in your children of all ages.

A team of Canadian and Australian researchers decided to take a scientific approach to this question by analyzing studies from across the world on student motivation. They found 144 studies involving nearly 80,000 students, from elementary school through university. Two conclusions stood out after their in-depth analysis of the research.

Get a summary of the studies in this week’s Quick Tip episode:

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Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education

Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential voices in education, and his 2006 TED Talk on the subject is the most viewed in the organization’s history. Now, the internationally recognized leader on creativity and human potential focuses on one of the most critical issues of our time: how to transform the nation’s troubled educational system.
At a time when standardized testing businesses are raking in huge profits when many schools are struggling, and students and educators everywhere are suffering under the strain, Robinson points the way forward. He argues for an end to our outmoded industrial educational system and proposes a highly personalized, organic approach that draws on today’s unprecedented technological and professional resources to engage all students, develop their love of learning, and enable them to face the real challenges of the twenty-first century.

Listen to the 10-minute summary of this best selling book:

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Links we like

The parenting content we’d share if we were in your group text.

Viewpoints: Why you should teach your kids about different religions. A perspective on raising kids and why it may be beneficial to teach them about different religions.

Fear: If your kid is afraid of shots, here’s how to prepare for the covid vaccine. The fear of needles is common among children, but there are ways to make vaccination as painless as possible.

Meta: How social media platforms impact kid and teen mental health. Recent documents reveal how the company ignored data that suggests their practices negatively impact mental health of children using their platforms.

Vape: Why Big Tobacco wants your teen to vape and how to stop them. This whilely popular habit has been widely debated ever since e-cigarettes first hit the scene. They’re not as harmless as many thing.

Counting: The five ways that sorting Halloween candy can help children develop math skills. By sorting and arranging candy, you can use many informal math learning opportunities with long-term benefits for math knowledge and confidence.

Let’s keep the conversation going. Follow us on YouTube or Instagram for weekly parenting tips. If you have a topic you’d like to see covered in a future newsletter, just reply to this email or write to me at

See you next week,

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