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 topics such how to talk so kids will listen, and when to back off and allow them to fail.

Recent Posts on Child Development

The No. 1 Reason You Should Never Be Afraid to Try

New research confirms the proverb, "nothing ventured, nothing gained." Unfortunately, a fear of failure is contagious and often passed on from parents to their children.

Less Than Perfect Is Just Fine

By Susan Hooper on April 28, 2016 Detours and Tangents
In any creative endeavor, how does one strive for perfection while not being paralyzed or defeated by the knowledge that perfection is unattainable?

The Legacy of Unfinished Business

By Guest Bloggers on April 28, 2016 The Guest Room
Guest post by Mark Wolynn

Hands-Off Parenting For Resilient, Resourceful Children

It can be hard to resist helicopter parenting, but research suggests that less support is the best support. Here is an exploration of the issue and a few suggestions.

HB2 as Cultural Narrative

What must it be like to have 'dread'—and perhaps even 'shame' and 'inadequacy'—coded into brain circuitry linked to the urge to use a bathroom?

How Teen Dating Violence Differs Between Boys and Girls

An infographic, based on a recently published paper, examines how types of teen dating violence differs between boys and girls.

Why Are Some Neighborhoods Becoming Extremely Homogenized?

American families are facing a new housing crisis that could dramatically impact school-aged children.

Is Your Kid's Tattling Making You Crazy?

Somewhere in between the extremes of gratuitous tattling and shame-based cover ups, we must help kids find a tenable middle ground for reaching out to trustworthy adults.

Are 'Deadpool' & 'Daredevil' Dangers to Kids?

'Daredevil' and 'Deadpool' have been touted as superhero stories for grown-ups. These entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be good, but they aren't good for kids.

Recognizing A Good Psychological Evaluation

Emphasizing that psychological evaluations are not "the last word," Dr. Betsy Grigoriu demonstrates that if they are well done, they can provide guidance about treatment options.

This Is Your Brain On Poverty

By Darby Saxbe Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 Home Base
How does poverty affect the development of the adolescent brain?

The Benefits and Dangers of Highly Empathic Parenting

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 Feeling It
Children of Empathic Parents Thrive. Parents Don't. Here's What You Can Do.

Here's How Rewarding Good Behavior Leads to Bad Behavior

By Garth Sundem on April 26, 2016 Brain Trust
Positive reinforcement is a cornerstone of parenting. Unfortunately, a new study shows it can have the opposite effect.

Michael Gilbert on It's About Childhood and Family, Inc.

The future of mental health interview series continues with Michael Gilbert on It's About Childhood and Family, Inc.

5 Reasons Your Child’s School Needs Spelling Books—Part 2

The brain reads by retrieving spellings of words. Spelling books help kids meet today's rigorous standards.

The Upside of Adolescence

Teens are searching for clues on how they should behave to be "normal," and the worst thing we can do is poison their environment with low expectations.

3 Types of Kids Who Bully Their Parents

Beneath the tough exterior of every bully is a scared child, constantly wrestling with insecurities and worries.

5 Reasons Your Child’s School Needs Spelling Books—Part 1

Parents and researchers agree that children need explicit spelling instruction in elementary school but school administrators may be ignoring the facts and harming students.

Why 9 out of 10 Parents Think Their Kids Are at Grade Level

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on April 22, 2016 Good Thinking
Kamenetz seems to believe "grade level" means "average". A grade level standard is a minimum, not an average.

What We Know About Kids and Screen Time

As the American Academy of Pediatrics updates its recommendations on kids and screen time, here's what you should know.

When Adolescents Claim the Right to Refuse Treatment

Some argue that minors do not understand the severity of their condition.

How to Begin Healing Your Body Shame

When did your body shame start?

Does Sugar Cause Mental Illness?

Empirical evidence that you are what you eat.

How the End of Adolescence (18 - 23) Can Feel Overwhelming

The transition from the last stage of adolescence, Trial Independence, into young adulthood is fraught with challenges. Parents who understand why and what to do can be of help.

How to Know if You Are Dealing With a Sociopath

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on April 18, 2016 Wicked Deeds
The good news about sociopaths is that due to their volatile personalities, you can typically see them coming

What Screen Time Really Does to Kids' Brains

A number of troubling studies connect delayed cognitive development in kids with extended exposure to electronic media

6 Steps for Getting Your Child to Sleep Alone

This is a hard habit to break, but hopefully patience, firmness and support should do the trick.

Why Have We Pathologized Mother-Infant Bonding?

By Amy Tuteur M.D. on April 15, 2016 Push Back
Why are attachment parents so worried about attachment?

What Did You Learn Before You Were Eight?

If you're like most of us, you learned some things before you were eight that no child should learn and carry for the rest of his or her life as motivating beliefs.

The Kids Are Alright

I thought Margaret was angry, but I know now that she was anxious and afraid. And as an adult, I regret that I didn’t see the difference. It might have helped us both.