Our Lifestyle Panel takes a look at a school principal in the UK who says teenagers who pursue romantic relationships could be putting their education at risk, how necessary is preschool for a great education and new research that confirms exercise does indeed improve behaviour and learning.

"Students who are in a relationship, whilst at school, are at danger of academically underachieving"

Stories of teen love are abundant in books and movies, painting a picture of romance that provides teenagers with entertainment and sometimes inspiration. But the principal at a school in the UK is warning students that teenage relationships could be putting their education at risk.

In an email to students at Ruthin School in Wales, Toby Belfield writes: "In my experience, students who are in a relationship, whilst at school, are at danger of academically underachieving. Therefore, if they devote their time to their studies, rather than the emotional turmoil connected with teenage romance, they will achieve higher grades and go to better universities."With so many emotions and hormones at play, and so many mental and physical developments underway, it can be a very emotional and intense time of life.

But panelists agree that teenage relationships are not something parents can successfully stop or prevent; they will find a way. So instead, help teach teens what healthy relationships look like and how to communicate effectively, with friends and love interests. Parents should role model healthy relationships. Coming down hard will shut down communication between teens and parents, which has a broad impact that can affect their lives in many ways.

How necessary is preschool for a great education?

Registrations are open at many preschools, and parents are having to think ahead and decide if they want to register their little ones for the fall. Preschool isn’t mandatory, and it can be difficult for some families to accommodate. So is it worth the effort?

Judy Arnall believes preschool is nice to have but is not necessary. It’s play-based and provides a lot of social interactions, but those things can be provided at home as well. Christine Bruckmann found other ways to get her children out in the community, and suggests that day care can offer a lot of those benefits as well.

Some preschools are simply inaccessible for families, whether it’s scheduling, volunteer commitments or financial barriers. Dr. Ganz Ferrance says we don’t want to put too much pressure on young children to excel; kids can feel the weight of those expectations so it’s important not to push things too much at such a young age.

Regular exercise improves behaviour and learning

All parents hope to raise children who are eager to learn and thrive in a stimulating, information-rich environment.

New research from De Montfort University Leicester has found that regular exercise is an important part of that and can help improve behavior and learning. The researchers found that exercise can be a firm foundation for better balance, flexibility, handwriting and coordinated hand and finger movements.

Children were also found to become better listeners and to be less fidgety. It may seem obvious, but it’s an important reminder to limit screen time and to get everyone outside more, both for the physical and mental health benefits. As with everything, we have to help our children find a balance.

Our Lifestyle Panelists are: Christine Bruckmann, parent and blogger at Just Another Edmonton Mommy and Alberta Mamas; Dr. Ganz Ferrance, registered psychologist with the Ferrance Group and Judy Arnall, certified parent educator with Professional Parenting Canada.