Understanding Child Development

The speedy physical and psychological changes that children undergo from birth through adolescence often leave parents wondering how best to care for them at each stage. PT's experts weigh in on such topics as birth order, gender and the effects of parental behavior on child development.

Recent posts on Child Development

Kids with These Skills Are Twice as Likely to Go to College

All children have the ability to learn these skills, we just have to teach them. Here are five exercises you should start teaching your kids today.

Understanding Your Child's Behaviors in Context

When it comes to children, how can you tell the difference between a discipline problem and a mental health diagnosis?

The Science of Toy Giving

By Vanessa LoBue, Ph.D. on December 11, 2017 in The Baby Scientist
Overwhelmed by holiday shopping? Science can help provide some helpful recommendations about toys that might promote exploration and learning in your children.

Origins of Passionate Interests: A Survey of Readers

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on December 11, 2017 in Freedom to Learn
I'm asking here for your story about the development of a passionate interest. It might be a story about your own interest, that of your child, or that of anyone you know well.

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Receive Graciously

By Roni Beth Tower Ph.D., ABPP on December 10, 2017 in Life, Refracted
Childhood experiences with our caregivers and feelings of guilt, embarrassment, fear, and disappointment can influence ways in which we receive others' expressions of love.

The Cure for an Imperfect Childhood

Some of us got off to a rough start in life, and for many of us, our childhood was missing the kinds of experiences that every child needs in order to thrive.

You Don't Have to Make Up for Not Being a Perfect Parent

Our fantasy of the perfect family holiday can drive us to do more, more, more – but more of what we didn't need to begin with can't fill those deep longings. There's a better way.
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What You Should Do for Yourself as a Sport Parent

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on December 07, 2017 in The Power of Prime
What you think, feel, and do as an active participant in your children’s athletic lives influences how much they enjoy their sports and how well they perform.

Why Babies Cry

By Temma Ehrenfeld on December 06, 2017 in Open Gently
Look at a wailing baby's eyes to see if they are frightened, angry, or in pain.

Adoption and Sibling Relationships

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on December 06, 2017 in Cravings
What role does adoption play in the development of bonds between brothers and sisters? Researchers are looking for answers.

Playing Out Our Childhood Role

The roles that Dr. Napier refers to have to do with the functions that were assigned to us in our families, usually by our parents when we were very young, sometimes...
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"How Can I Stop Being in Love with Someone who Abuses Me?"

If you are trapped loving an abusive partner, this article can help you understand what is going on and how to get out.
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Why You Feel Helpless When Your Young Adult Won't Help

By Brad E Sachs Ph.D. on December 04, 2017 in Emptying The Nest
Frustrated by your young adult treating your home like a boarding house? Careful consideration of your expectations and how you express them can make living together more livable.
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How to Keep Santa from Making Our Kids Gain Weight

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on December 04, 2017 in Scientocracy
The key to combating America’s obesity problem is to prevent children from developing obesity in the first place.

3 Common Friendship Mistakes for Kids

Every child faces friendship challenges at some time, in some way, but broadly speaking, there are three main ways that children struggle socially.

Risky Business: What Can We Do to Keep Teenagers Safe?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on December 04, 2017 in Psych Unseen
Part 2 of an interview with author and child psychiatrist Dr. Jess Shatkin

3 Ways Kids Can Solve Friendship Conflicts

Conflicts are common in children’s friendships, but they don’t have to mean the end of a relationship. Here are three ways kids can move past disagreements.

9 Warning Signs Your Child May Be Lost in Cyberspace

By Christopher Bergland on December 04, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
For the first time, psychologists have created a nine-point checklist to help parents identify if their child may be suffering from what experts call "screen media addiction."
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Is Your Greatest Strength Limiting Your Life?

Our personalities are like our bodies: They should be developed as part of an organic whole.

The Two Channels of Empathy

By Lydia Denworth on December 02, 2017 in Brain Waves
Is empathy an instinctive sharing of emotion? Or is it understanding how other people feel? According to the latest scientific thinking, it's both.

I Didn't Become an Actress

By Nick Luxmoore on December 02, 2017 in Young People Up Close
Fame or friendship? Fortune or family? When we look back on our lives, on all our youthful promise, what really matters?

How to Teach Kids About Civic Engagement

By Amber A. Hewitt Ph.D. on December 01, 2017 in You, Empowered
How can parents promote civic education and engagement?
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Emotions, Cognition, and Language

Emotions, cognition, and language can all be conceptualized as information-processing systems, as they are intimately connected and overlapping.

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Child

When your emotions are "triggered," your child looks like the enemy. You can't be the parent your child deserves at those times.

Do Dogs Respond More Accurately to Words or Gestures?

By Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC on November 30, 2017 in Canine Corner
Voice commands and hand signals are not equally effective when directing a dog's behavior.

Little Bitty Pretty One

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on November 30, 2017 in Beauty Sick
When we constantly tell little girls how pretty they are, we communicate that looks matter more than other qualities.
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Cognition, Part II

We examine how smart infants and young children are, and how important it is to maintain that trajectory by supporting the effect of interest or curiosity.

Pumping Liquid Gold: Why Policies Emphasize Milk Over Mom

Much U.S. policy facilitates breast milk pumping instead of enabling breastfeeding directly. Redefining breastfeeding affects mothers and potentially the benefits of breastfeeding.

How Do I Ask My Grandma to Stop Being So Techy?

Using social media to connect across generations sounds like a good thing, but how do we respond when our good intentions cause embarrassment to our youth?

Child Sexual Abuse Declared an Epidemic

Child sexual abuse epidemic acknowledged by WHO.