Most adults think the focus should be on academic skills, such as counting or knowing the letters of the alphabet. However, it is just as important to teach children to regulate their emotions, thoughts and behavior.
As I look back on all the orphans I have met through my international development work as a pediatrician and adoption medicine specialist, I recognize that the most startling aspect of the orphan is their lack of self-soothing skills.
The goal of Sesame Street's engaging and lovable monsters and diverse human cast has always been to help children reach their fullest potential. But now, we're modeling and practicing important self-regulation skills and strategies on the show.
Mindfulness, something once practiced only in more closeted meditation circles, has recently become a greater mainstream interest. Perhaps for this reason, research on mindfulness meditation has increased considerably over the last decade.
In order to guide youth who access digital media to focus on scholarship we must develop children's learning strategies in a way that helps them resist the hundreds of thousands of distractions available with these tools.
I am critical of largely self-regulation efforts, such as Codes of Conduct. It is not that such codes are bad. Rather, the problem is that in order to make it really work, some other things need to go along with it.
What if we, as people, thought and behaved a bit more like our canine counterparts -- happy to be sharing a sidewalk with someone we don't know, eagerly expecting that they too will be happy to see us.