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Kids Whose Parents Separated and Don’t Speak are More Likely to Get Colds as Adults – ScienceDaily

June 12, 2017

New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that children whose parents separated and were not on speaking terms are three times more susceptible to cold viruses as adults. This suggests that childhood trauma or stress can affect the developing immune system and alter its reactionary processes 20-40 years later. Interestingly, children whose parents split but maintained communication showed no sign of increased risk of colds as adults, which implies that the psychological effects of the split weren’t as strong. Still, it’s an important look into how the psychological health of an individual is correlated to their physical health. Read the full article from ScienceDaily.  


Who Are Highly Sensitive People (HSP)?

By Itziar Madera, Educational Specialist at Lipa

There are many different types of people in our world: arrogant people, passive people, loud people, quiet people, independent people, and the list goes on. But while we can easily identify these types of personality characteristics, we usually don’t think about one type that often goes under the radar: highly sensitive people.


I didn’t realize for a long time that I belong to this group of highly sensitive people. Most my life I was told I was too emotional, intense, and sensitive about everything. I was told I needed to toughen up or calm down. Finally I came to an understanding as an adult—that I should accept who I am and be respected, not taunted.

Being a highly sensitive person is normal, as normal as someone who is particularly nervous or particularly active. This character trait should not be frowned upon just because it is misunderstood. It is not a disorder or pathology that needs to be fixed. As parents and teachers, we should treat highly sensitive children with patience, respect, and empathy.

Highly sensitive people usually have a more developed, refined nervous system. This results in a person receiving much more sensory information at once than a person with medium or “normal” sensitivity.

The first investigations into this trait began with American psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron, who came to the conclusion that to qualify a person as highly sensitive, we must identify four pillars known as “D.O.E.S”: Deep processing, Over-stimulation, Strong emotions, and Sensitive to subtleties.

Here are the four basic characteristics:

  1. A highly sensitive person can hardly remedy their tendency to process all the information received in an intense and deep way, so they usually spend more time reflecting and thinking deeply to achieve greater understanding.
  2. A highly sensitive person can become overwhelmed and overstimulated when they have to process a lot of information (sensory and emotional) at the same time.
  3. A highly sensitive person lives life with great emotionality, and is easily touched by situations and feelings. Their way of experiencing happiness, sadness, joy, injustice, etc. is very intense and is linked to strong empathy, a characteristic that is also part of being highly sensitive.
  4. A highly sensitive person has acute sensitivity not only in the five senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell), but also in sensing subtleties like small changes in the environment or in the emotional state of people around them.

Many times, an HSP feels annoyed because of their huge absorption of information. If they do not know they are highly sensitive, they feel out of place or “different” from everyone else. They may not understand why some things bother them so much and other things barely leave a mark. A lot of HSPs suffer in the process because their character type is not very recognized.

The good news is that high sensitivity is something that can enrich life in so many ways, and that can even be considered a “gift”.

Signs that someone might be an HSP include:

  1. Sensitivity to bright lights, strong odors, and general noise
  2. Easily overwhelmed by too much work and masses of people
  3. Insecure and timid personality
  4. Love of the arts and nature
  5. Feeling pain when witnessing the suffering of others
  6. Love of helping others
  7. Extremely empathetic

In the past few decades, Dr. Elaine Aron discovered that two out of every ten people are considerably more sensitive, which has led to a wider recognition of this characteristic. More people and doctors realize that highly sensitive people do not need to be cured, but simply understood.

If you think you might be an HSP, you can try and channel your sensitivity into positive places, such as creating art, helping others, keeping a journal, and talking about the trait openly with other people.

Aside from learning about the characteristic and accepting it, you can practice ways to take better care of yourself:

  1. Manage your emotions so that they don’t turn against you and others. Give yourself time before you let yourself get carried away by what you feel.
  2. Don’t isolate yourself and don’t feel weird about being sensitive.
  3. Thank your sensitivity for the moments you have lived so intensely and for the moments you have been so happy.
  4. Identify the ways you learn every day thanks to being more sensitive. You’re able to capture information that for other people goes unnoticed.
  5. Anticipate changes ahead of time and prepare yourself mentally.
  6. Laugh and cry when you need it, because they are physiological needs. It’s important that they manifest when you need them to.

If you would like to know more about the trait of high sensitivity and the path of personal development that focuses on the positive qualities (creativity, empathy, vision, loyalty, flexibility, etc.) you can read books like the following:

The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You by Dr. Elaine Aron.

Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person: Improving Outcomes for That Minority of People Who Are the Majority of Clients by Dr. Elaine Aron.

The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide: Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World (Step-By-Step Guides) by Ted Zeff.

Thrive: The Highly Sensitive Person and Career by Tracy M.Cooper.

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Digital Books Might Be as Good as a Parent Reading to a Child – The Hechinger Report

May 18, 2017

A new study conducted at New York University seems to show that children learning to read with digital books learn just as well, as opposed to being read a paper book by an adult. 38 children in a Head Start preschool program watched digital e-books that included audio and animations, and then read the same story adapted to paper–researchers found there was no difference in language or reading comprehension. This is part of an ongoing study at NYU to see whether the concern with “screen time” is valid or something we should consider a moot point in our modern times. Read the full article by The Hechinger Report.


Should We Let Our Kids Give Nose Jobs and Inject Botox with These Apps? – ABC News

May 11, 2017

With children’s body image as a big issue in today’s world, is it OK to let our kids play apps where they perform surgeries to create an “ideal” face and body? Apps such as Princess Plastic Surgery or Plastic Surgery Simulator (shown in picture) are aimed primarily towards young girls, showing the typical design style and color scheme of other dress-up and princess games–which means it’s our girls who will be “perfecting” people in these apps and possibly developing unhealthy body standards in the meantime. What do you think, as parents? Are these apps contributing to kids’ negative body image or are they harmless fun? Read the full article from ABC News.


Lipa Planets Interactive Book Featured on App Store in 152 Countries

April 24, 2017

We are thrilled to announce our new interactive book for children ages 4-6 has been featured in a total of 152 countries around the world on the App Store.


Lipa Planets tells the story of an ambitious little dog, Skipper, who dreams of following in his grandmother Laika’s footsteps by exploring outer space in his own rocket ship. After hard work and training, Skipper zooms off to our solar system and pays a visit to each planet. As Skipper greets them, each planet transforms into a god or goddess from the Roman mythology that it’s named after: Mercury turns into a speedy messenger, and Neptune changes to the trident-wielding god of the sea. Skipper learns how the planets got their names and what they represented in ancient Roman times in a visually stimulating and interactive tale kids will love.

Along with having a Home banner featured on the Spanish App Store, Lipa Planets has also been included in such categories as “Discover More About Mother Earth” in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway, and “New Apps We Love” in 25 countries total.

This is a great start for our new creation for preschool kids, who will not only gain reading skills but will learn fascinating facts about our planets. With Skipper’s goal-oriented attitude, kids will also learn that self-motivation and hard work is important to reaching our goals. Lipa Planets is completely kidSAFE certified, which guarantees its appropriate and safe content for children.

For more information about Lipa Planets, go here, or download Lipa Planets directly on the App Store.


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