Kanye West’s Twitter account suspended after he violates rules in rant

Hitmaker Kanye West shared a tweet on Wednesday that included a journalist's phone number - which is against Twitter's privacy policy
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Why It’s Good When Your Child Can Play… Even When They Are Alone
The pressure placed on the shoulders of modern-day parents is astounding. All too often, it feels as though they’re expected to juggle work with immaculate, Instagram-worthy domestic spaces, feed their kids homemade organic meals, educate their offspring (sometimes full-time, at home, with no school on, as in lockdown) and also entertain their children around the clock. While we don’t have the answer to how to solve 2020’s myriad parenting dilemmas, here’s one thing we do know: kids don’t constantly need stimulation from their parents, other adults or even other children. Independent play - by that we mean leaving your child play with their toys, solo - is really good for your child’s emotional and intellectual development.“When children can play in their own way, they have to practice making decisions, they find things that they are interested in and it even helps them build healthy bodies, moving around, growing their dexterity and generally increasing their physical activity,” Dr. Hayley Van Zwanenberg, an Oxford-based child and adolescent psychiatrist, tells HuffPost UK.“Play has also been shown to be beneficial in school environments, it helps children learn and develops them both socially and emotionally,” she adds.From encouraging confidence and self-awareness to helping kids be more reliant on themselves, independent play can have benefits you might not even know about.Some perks of independent play for kidsBalance is key to everything, which is why independent play works best when combined with proper socialisation with other children, both in school and out. Guided play from parents can also provide an opportunity for a child to learn through play, as well as improve their communication skills.Children learn to negotiate a variety of different skill sets through play; playing on their own can help to encourage their creativity since they are in charge of where their make-believe story goes, and independent play can also be meditative and a form of mindfulness for kids (think of children crafting or playing with a dollhouse, as opposed to running around or throwing a ball at each other outdoors). Children playing on their own not only tend to invent their own games, they can also come up with innovative, skill-building ideas as they play, like giving their classroom of dolls a lesson plan for the “school day” ahead - an opportunity to revise what they may have learned in school that week.Independent play is also beneficial in that it teaches children to be self-reliant as well as how to feel comfortable in their own skin, and to enjoy their own company. Solo play can also help with a child’s focus and attention span.From a parent’s perspective, it’s necessary for a child to learn to play independently, at least some of the time, whether they need a break to work, to focus on another child or they just need a cup of tea and a biscuit.Types of play to encourage for your little oneWith so many types of toys to choose from, which are the best ones when it comes to engaging your child in solo play that will excite and occupy them?Many parents assume that kids need to be entertained with a device, so hand their kids tablets and phones as a default, before even trying to see how they might react to other types of toys. Often, these have an educational slant, but you’d be amazed at how much your child can learn, intellectually and socially, without a screen.A new study, led by Dr. Sarah Gerson and fellow researchers at Cardiff University, in collaboration with Mattel – makers of Barbie – explored the impact of doll’s play on children using neuroscience and found that playing with dolls gives children the chance to rehearse, use and perform social information processing skills like empathy - even when playing on their own. What’s more, it allows children to develop these skills more so than tablet play, in a statistically significant way, with equal benefits across genders. Empathy is a hugely important life skill for children that can help predict future emotional, academic and social success. Empathy teaches kids to consider others, encourages them to use their imaginations and helps kids see things from different perspectives. Unlike play that yields an output, e.g. constructing something out of blocks, or finishing a jigsaw puzzle, parents tend to place less value on doll play, which isn’t known for its STEM potential or for encouraging the development of fine motor skills. This study shows the significance of doll’s play in its own right.The importance of play for kids - and what it tells us about their emotional stateThe importance of play for children, no matter what they choose to play with, can’t be underestimated - it’s essential for every aspect of their development.“Play helps a child’s brain develop in a healthy way. Children can tackle their fears through play, they can test out roles that adults have; it helps build their confidence and teaches them skills to be resilient,” says Dr. Van Zwanenberg, who notes that when children play with dolls, they often speak to them, which can help their speech development.“If the young person role plays taking care of the doll, this can assist learning of how to take care of others and even assist with empathy development,” she adds. Since young children communicate through play, parents can often get a glimpse as to the inner workings of a child’s mind and emotional state through their interactions with their toys. “They tend to feel free to express their emotional experiences. It can give people access to what they are really thinking internally,” says Dr. Van Zwanenberg.It’s one of the reasons for the success of play therapy in children - they are able to express what’s going on inside without having to verbalise what they’re feeling.So, the next time your little one reaches for a doll, don’t stress if you can’t join in with their games. If you can, however, you may learn a thing or two you would never have guessed.
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Parents Are Worried That The Covid Lockdown Will Have Affected Their Child’s Development
We are living in uncertain times, and children around the globe have had their worlds upended for months. Unable to see friends, learning at a distance, often on a screen, with parents who were attempting to hold down their own jobs, it’s understandable that parents are concerned about the impact that the past several months may have on their kids, long-term. A new OnePoll survey of 15,000 parents, commissioned by Barbie, found that over two thirds of parents are worried about how lockdown has affected their children. They are particularly concerned about the social ramifications of social contact exclusively via a screen. They’re also worried about the impact not seeing relatives and shielding family members for weeks and months may have on their little ones and are looking for ways to help their children with pandemic-related anxiety.Even now, as case numbers around the country have started to soar and government officials are announcing an ever-changing landscape of restrictions, schools and nurseries are expected to stay open, highlighting how important social interaction and school-based learning is for children.Looking for ways to support your children’s social development at home? We’ve got a few pro tips to make things easier.Ensure you have ‘quality’ interactions with your childrenAs with so many other things in life, it’s not about how much you’re with the kids, especially if you’re distracted on your phone trying to send work emails while hanging out with them. It’s all about spending quality time where possible.“It’s quality interactions that will make a difference to your child’s social skills,” says Dr. Abigail Miranda, a London-based educational and child psychologist. Quality interactions can differ by age, so you might play peek-a-boo with a baby, and join in games and imaginary play with a toddler or school kid, commenting and asking questions throughout. “It’s getting them to think about what they’re doing in a purposeful way,” Dr. Miranda says.Dr. Miranda notes that sometimes, social interactions will happen through a screen - and that’s OK. From calling grandparents on Zoom to playing Minecraft online (in a safe, monitored way), children can develop social interaction skills that will help them learn how to negotiate amongst themselves.Quality interactions also mean ones where a child isn’t too exhausted.“Don’t feel that you have to catch up for lost time by overscheduling. Activities or structured social engagements do tend to happen quite naturally. If a child is tired they will be less inclined to have positive social interactions, they need to have rest,” says Dr. Miranda.Look in the toy box for toys that can help encourage social skillsPlay is vastly important for children: improves their physicality, hones their fine motor and critical thinking skills and even aids them with their social development.Barbie’s OnePoll survey found that 74% of parents are more likely to encourage their child to play with a toy that’s proven to help them develop social and emotional skills, but parents don’t always know which toys are best-equipped to do that.Only 24% of parents surveyed, for example, realised that playing with dolls can help their children to develop various social skills, like empathy.“Children process a lot of what’s happening in their world through small world play,” says Dr. Miranda. “Something that they’ve experienced as an onlooker or experienced themselves, they may reenact it with their dolls and figurines.”In our current climate, children may also be play-acting medical scenarios after seeing and hearing about the pandemic for months. This is perfectly normal behaviour and parents can help their children process these feelings and anxieties by validating their children’s emotions.Be a role model for your childParents can model behaviour for their kids to help them navigate all things social, like empathy. Dr. Miranda suggests one way to do this involves not letting them win every time they play a game, or teaching them they can’t always choose the movie night movie or dinner menu that evening.“The child learns the ability to self soothe and manage their own emotions. It gives them resilience to cope with change and the words they need to cope with what they’re feeling.”Emotional intelligence is something children can develop everyday, through social interactions with their peers, adults, and others they encounter, as well as through their own imaginary play activities. If lockdown has shown us anything, it’s the remarkable adaptability of children to maintain their sociability, in school or out of it.
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Coronavirus Spread In England 'Slowing', Latest Study Suggests
The spread of coronavirus across England appears to be “slowing”, the leader of a large-scale Covid-19 study has said, and restrictions across the north of the country may be pushing down the number of new infections. Professor Paul Elliott, director of the React study – the largest research of its kind in England – said although the numbers of people who now have the virus has “grown substantially”, there is reason for cautious optimism. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “In the very recent data, and we’re talking about people who did swabs last Saturday, it does seem that the rate of increase of the infection may have slowed a bit.“We’ve seen the doubling time – from the last time we did the survey to now – has reduced to about 10 days … from seven to eight days, so that has been slowing.”Prof Elliott stressed that this slowdown was from “high levels of the virus”, adding: “We do seem to still have a bit of an upward trajectory, but that very fast increase in the virus seems to have slowed and that’s very encouraging.”He attributed the slowdown to tighter restrictions and general changes in behaviour since the pandemic began, saying: “So that does suggest that perhaps some of the recent announcements and the biggest focus again on people paying attention to the public health message, which is social distancing, handwashing, face covers and getting tested if they have symptoms and then isolation, seems to be beginning to work.”Prof Elliott urged people to “redouble” their efforts to follow the guidance, adding the country is in “a very critical period right now”.On Thursday, Boris Johnson said the latest data showed hospital admissions rising sharply for over-65s since the end of August, showing the danger was far from over.Prof Elliott said: “So we really need to get the virus turning down and the R value going below one and we haven’t yet seen that.“We’ve seen a seven-fold increase in the number of people carrying the virus at the age of 65 and over.“So clearly this is happening across the whole population, not just in the younger people.”The research, by a team at Imperial College London, took samples from more than 80,000 volunteers in England from September 18-26.It found around one in 200 people were infected with coronavirus.The study is examining levels of infection in the general population by testing more than 150,000 participants each month over a two-week period.Interim results from the fourth report of the study, published on Thursday, show around 55 people per 10,000 tested positive, which is an increase on 13 people per 10,000 in the previous study between August 24 and September 7.This implies 411,000 people in England have the virus, meaning over one in 200 people were infected at any one time.Findings also show that the prevalence of infection was the highest among those aged 18-24 – with one in 100 people infected – while cases increased seven-fold in those aged over 65 from 0.04% to 0.29% compared to the last report.The north-west of England, which has seen areas such as Burnley and Liverpool placed under local restrictions, had the highest levels of infection, while the number of infections in London increased five-fold from 0.10% to 0.49%.The final report and findings of all 150,000 volunteers tested between September 18 and October 5 will be published next week.While findings of the study, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, show the R rate has decreased from 1.7 to 1.1, scientists say this could suggest some deceleration “but with considerable uncertainty”.Half of the volunteers who tested positive did not have symptoms at the time of testing or the week before, but it was noted that this did not mean they did not later develop symptoms.The study also found people of Asian and black ethnicity are twice as likely to have the virus compared to white people.Kelly Beaver, managing director of public affairs at Ipsos Mori, which worked on the study, said: “The continuing support of the public by taking part in the study is something we remain immensely grateful for.“The number of participants gives this study the robustness and thoroughness which marks it out as world leading.”Related... Trump's Family Didn't Wear Masks During Presidential Debate — Except On Social Media More Than 170 People Test Positive For Coronavirus At Cornwall Meat Packing Plant
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Here Are The Social Skills Your Kid Can Learn From Play
We really send mixed messages to our children, don’t we? As adults, we dismiss the idea of “all work and no play” as boring and uninspired, yet we panic regularly that our kids aren’t “learning” enough when they pull out their building blocks or cuddle their favourite baby dolls.Guess what? Next time your child wants to dress and undress a Barbie for the next hour, relax and let them enjoy. Better still, remember that they’re negotiating important life skills in these moments - that you might not even be aware of!Play is not only educational for kids - enhancing a child’s desire to learn and understand a variety of concepts - it’s also incredibly beneficial for children’s mental and social development, especially when it comes to sharpening their emotional intelligence and those highly sought after social skills. Children benefit from playing with their favourite toys both with another child, a friend or sibling who helps them to communicate their needs, and teaches them that oh-so-difficult yet crucial art of sharing, as well as with an adult, who can help to guide and encourage them as they play.For children, all play is beneficial - even when they’re playing on their own, as a recent study commissioned by Barbie found. It partnered with psychologists at Cardiff University to explore the benefits of doll’s play in this first-of-its-kind study, and discovered that when children play with dolls, the parts of their brain that lead to developing empathy and social information processing skills are stimulated.Great news for parents: out of 15,000 surveyed, 6 out of 10 declared they would rather see their children grow up with well-developed social skills over high academic qualifications, according to new research from Barbie.91% of parents agreed empathy was the key social attribute they wanted their kids to develop, followed by the ability to understand other people’s perspectives and being good at cooperating.Reading stories to kids, social interactions with others and encouraging a child’s curiosity can all help children develop social skills, as can playing with toys.Here are just some of the prized social skills your kid can learn from play - so keep that toy box lively.1. Empathy - thinking about the emotions of others “Parents always ask me what matters for children’s happiness, mental health and success, and my answer is always empathy. Empathy plays a key role in predicting kids’ well-being, academic success, authentic happiness, relationship satisfaction, as well as their ability to have resilience and bounce back from adversity,” writes Dr. Michele Borba, a psychologist and author of Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All About Me World. Dr. Borba has been working alongside Barbie to develop resources to help kids develop their social processing skills.“It’s been shown that children who have developed empathy and social skills early in life can have better grades, stay in school longer and make healthier choices overall,” explains Dr Borba. “Empathetic children might also be more likely to stand up for a child being bullied and try to engage and resolve the conflict. Understanding that kids can help develop these skills through playing with dolls like Barbie, is remarkable and a helpful tool for parents.”With everything going on in the world at the moment, from fears about the global pandemic and having to go through another homeschool lockdown-style scenario to the global reckoning around issues of institutionalised prejudices and racism, children need to be taught empathy from their earliest days.Play can help teach empathy in varied ways: listening in on your children’s encounters with their toys and dolls can help you tune in to their feelings, worries and interests.Giving our children toys and books that showcase different experiences - disabilities, different skin tones, various family backgrounds and set-ups that don’t resemble our own - can all help our children learn to empathise with those living varied experiences, in places all around the world. This deeper understanding and interest in others can translate from their playtime into real-world encounters.2. Diplomacy and conflict resolutionListening to children play - without adult intervention - is a fascinating exercise (not that parents ever have the time to do it!). Listen to kids playing with friends or siblings: they’ll negotiate, they’ll squabble and they’ll often act out real-world scenarios with their toys, building classrooms out of blocks, typing manically on laptops they’ve just crafted from old cereal boxes or having dolls become medical experts checking for sore throats and coughs.You don’t need a professional qualification to know that children react to the environment and stressors around them, like homeschool, parents working from home, COVID-19 anxieties, etc. They are manifesting these feelings and worries through their play, so it can be a therapeutic tool that helps them cope with their changing realities.Similarly, if your child is stressed about something happening in the school playground like bullying, they may struggle to verbalise it. However, they might replicate the behaviours they’re seeing or experiencing through their toys. Playing with toys, especially with other children involved, will also teach your child the basics of sharing and compromise: you wear this costume first, but I get to push this baby in her buggy while we do it. There is often an unspoken set of rules that the participants in the make believe must adhere to for it to run smoothly - developing that understanding is crucial for kids. Not only does this help children with conflict resolution in life, it also encourages them to think about cooperation, collaboration and understanding different points of view, as well as boosting their self-regulation abilities. These are skills that serve them well long beyond childhood.3. Independence and self-disciplineAs we learned all too well over lockdown, even the best-intentioned parents can’t spend every waking minute playing with their children. Truth be told, they probably shouldn’t - as there’s plenty kids can glean from playing on their own.Even when a child is playing on their own, they’re boosting their social and emotional development, indulging their creativity and unleashing their imaginations. They’re also cultivating that critical life skill: an ability to happily exist with themselves, and themselves alone.Even more crucial? Encouraging kids to embrace their boredom, especially if they see you at home and think you should be playing with them instead of preparing for a client presentation.While it’s important to ensure that kids have a range of age-appropriate activities to engage with, from books to blocks to baby dolls, it’s also good for them to feel bored once in a while: boredom will ultimately encourage them to think more creatively, and make them more self-sufficient human beings.4. Developing friendshipsHere’s how young kids decide who they’re going to be friends with: 1) their parents hit it off and host regular playdates with each other’s kids so it becomes sort-of inevitable. Or 2) they bond, often over toys, games and other characters they’re obsessing over.Toys can play a pivotal role in helping children negotiate friendships and playmates, while these play sessions together can teach them to anticipate the needs of others, to share (no one wants to play with the kid who can’t!), to compromise and to be more self-aware. A child quickly learns that antisocial behaviour - pushing, hitting - won’t be tolerated and playtime is over. The ability to cultivate friendships links back to being empathetic: children who understand empathy can intuit what their friends need, so they can play together collaboratively and enjoyably. In turn, these children are better placed to deal with bullying behaviour.5. Courage and curiosityThere is something to learn from all sorts of play: a child obsessed by climbing trees and running around is building up their strength and courage, and is likely to challenge themselves physically and mentally by reaching for that higher branch or running farther and faster on their next tour round the park.Children who prefer indoor play like crafting, building, constructing and taking things apart to see how they work are also fostering skill sets, learning how to think creatively, critically and to use their mathematical prowess. Which is to say: don’t prioritise one type of play over another, but encourage your child to do whatever takes their fancy, knowing your little one is benefitting no matter how they’re spending the next half hour or several. Also, encourage play that goes beyond a child’s gender: playing with dolls can help little boys hone their nurturing skills, while girls who love constructing will be boosting their STEM abilities, and their confidence.
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8 Simple Things You Can Do To Raise A Socially Confident Kid
We all want our children to be happy, curious, intelligent, kind, loving, courageous, honest and fair.We also really, really want them to be confident in themselves. A new survey conducted by OnePoll, with Barbie, asked 15,000 parents in 22 countries what key social skill they wanted their children to develop, and 91% emphatically stated it was empathy.The ability to understand and share the feelings of another person is a good skill to have, one which can help predict future emotional, academic and social success for children. Studies have found that kids with higher emotional intelligence tend to earn better grades and do better in achievement tests.Low emotional awareness may be linked to higher instances of depression and anxiety, while students with high emotional intelligence tend to be lauded by teachers as cooperative. They’re also considered good leaders in the classroom.There are lots of things parents can do at home to help children’s social development and confidence - and they’re pretty straightforward, too. Here are eight to try at home this weekend.Talk about your feelings with themAs adults, we’re not always comfortable talking about our feelings - but if we can’t do it, how do we expect our children to?The quicker our children learn to identify what emotions they’re feeling, the easier they’ll find it is to discuss them. They’ll also start to feel more confident verbalising their feelings: the good, the bad and the awkward.Sharing how you would feel in a comparable situation to one your child finds themselves in (after an argument with a friend, or feeling anxious about not knowing all of the answers in a quiz, for example), will help your child feel more comfortable and at ease discussing their own emotions. Ask them questions, too, using a variety of feeling words, to help expand their vocabulary on the subject.Empathy expert and educational psychologist, Dr. Michele Borba, is a big fan of talking feelings with the kids, and increasing your child’s range of terminology relating to emotions with feeling flashcards. Challenge yourself by acting out the word you’ve chosen without any sounds, just facial and body movements, she advises in her latest book, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.Something to be wary of: we tend to express more feeling words with daughters rather than sons, so it’s especially important to ensure you’re discussing emotions with boys, too.Encourage independent playParents don’t always need to be hovering over their kids in play situations (we see you, helicopter!), or even directing them every time they pick up a toy. Kids can learn important lessons about self-regulation from trying - and failing - to do something on their own, before eventually enjoying the satisfaction of achievement (made all the sweeter because they’ve accomplished something by themselves).Also, listen in to your child’s imaginative play sessions with dolls and soft toys: this dramatic style of play allows kids to take on the role of different characters and personas, which will help them learn to empathise with the experiences and perspectives of others.Animals = empathy Kids who are exposed to animals learn kindness and care skills, as well as the responsibility of how to keep an animal safe, protected and loved.No wonder, then, that studies regularly show that kids who interact with animals have higher confidence and self-esteem, and lower anxiety levels, than those who don’t. Children with pets also have enhanced social skills and tend to be less lonely.If you don’t have a pet at home, not a problem: from checking out the pooches in the local park to getting to know animals at the zoo or city farm, there are plenty of ways to add animal love to your child’s life.Let them play with dollsWe often dismiss children playing with their dolls as just play, but it’s so much more than that: they care for their dolls, dressing them, bathing them, soothing them. They act out real life events through their dolls, like being in school or at the doctor’s office. Kids also confide in dolls, telling them their interests and even their worries.Free play with dolls can be hugely beneficial to kids - and it boosts empathy, too, from reenacting caring scenarios with their dolls to helping children practice acts of kindness that they start to internalise. Dr. Borba encourages parents to prompt their children as they play, saying things like: “Daisy can’t find her guitar. How can Barbie help?” or “Ned looks lonely and left out. What would you want someone to say if you were lonely? What can Ted do?”Let them see other perspectives and experiencesAs important as it is for kids to see themselves reflected in books and toys, it will also help their social skills if they’re exposed to characters from different backgrounds and environments.Buy them books with protagonists of a different gender, race, cultural background, sexual orientation and age, and give them dolls and toys that feature differently abled bodies or a different skin colour to their own.These books and toys will help them to get inside the heads of those living totally different lives to theirs. Take it to the next level and engage your child in conversation about the differences and similarities between themselves and these toys.Praise them for the effort, not the outcomeWe live in a results-orientated society so it’s tempting to get excited when our kids succeed, coming first in the spelling bee, winning the running race, being chosen for the singing solo.However, instilling confidence in a child isn’t about making them happy when they achieve something they’re excited about - rather, it’s about making them feel good about themselves even when they don’t.Give your child positive affirmations when they’re kind, when they share with a sibling, when they try hard for something… that will help give them a sense of self worth that exists whether or not they ultimately win the prize.Don’t let them get their way all the timeIn the moment - especially the moment of a full-blown, raging tantrum - giving in to your child and letting them get what they want might feel like the easiest solution. In the long run, they will struggle as a result, and it will undermine their confidence because the real world doesn’t work that way.In order to be truly empathetic, kids need to feel frustrated and disappointed sometimes - and they also need to understand that other people have feelings that need to be respected. The earlier children can learn these diplomacy and conflict resolution skills, the better placed they are for future confidence.Listen to them when they speak to you Listening isn’t always the easiest skill to learn as a parent, especially when we’re trying to finish up a report, help a child with homework and get dinner ready, all while our child is talking animatedly about their school day.So, put down the devices, look your child in the eye - and really engage with what they’re saying. It helps to model empathy for your child and will also improve your little one’s self-esteem. Plus, you could learn a thing or two from that amazing little person next to you.
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