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. From how to talk so kids will listen to when to back off and allow them to fail, PT's experts weigh in.

Recent Posts on Child Development

The Inconvenience of Tackling and Eliminating Defiance

Parenting is a an inconvenience in the lives of parents, that every parent has to bring themselves to be at peace with. The parenting relationship is not one that money alone can solve, or one that can be tackled remotely.

Conversation with a Mother about Sleep Training her Baby

Dear Dr., I need help! I have a lovely 11 month old baby girl and my husband and I both work full-time… I resorted to sleep coaching recently… I am afraid that we have already done irreparable damage to our sweet baby.

Self-Esteem and Your Inner Biker

The news pumps up the biker “shootout” in Waco. The psychology of abandon cuts through the hype and examines how biker gangs mirror the struggle for self-esteem that shapes all of us—even you and me. Gun your engines.

The Wacky Neuroscience of Forgetting How to Ride a Bicycle

A new experiment with a "backwards brain bicycle" illustrates how easy it is to forget everything you thought you knew about riding a bicycle. In this blog post, I'll explore the neuroscience behind learning—and forgetting—how to ride a bicycle.

The Surprising News about Children's Mental Health

How mentally healthy are today’s children and teens? A comprehensive new survey shows that the current generation of young people are in better shape than we’ve realized. However, trends in medication use continue to draw concern by mental health experts.

No Way Did I Want to Die

Adolescents want to feel pleasure, takes risks and be social. Add in a brain that is impulsive and emotional and you have a set up for potential addiction. This is a story about just such a teen.

Toddlers Understand the Cost of Actions

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 22, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
When a friend refuses to help you with something, that may or may not upset you. It depends on their ability to help as well as the cost of that help. What do young children do?

What Really Motivates Kids

What really motivates kids (and adults for that matter)? Not rewards. Not punishments. Not even intrinsic motivation! My goodness -- what's left?

Balancing a Japanese and Irish Heritage

I have learned to balance my parents' lessons in living.

Self-Learner in Your Home?

By David Palmer Ph.D. on May 20, 2015 in Gifted Kids
Self-Learner in your home? Free and low cost resources available!

The Psychology of Getting Back in the Batter’s Box

Want to learn about building resilience? Developing team values? Developing a positive identity? Little League baseball has got all of this and more.

The Truth About Children of Working Mothers

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on May 19, 2015 in Good Thinking
The results of a meta-analysis of sixty-nine studies indicated that the impact of early daycare on child development was different for single-parent, low income families and dual-parent, high income families. The age at which daycare starts also mattered.

Friendships Help Kids Cope With Divorce

By Wendy Paris on May 19, 2015 in Splitopia
Your children's friendships can be disrupted by divorce, either because you move or because everyone is too busy and preoccupied to help maintain them. Eileen Kennedy-Moore answers four questions on the impact of divorce on childhood friendships, and gives advice for how parents can foster strong community.

Cannabis Addiction Is Linked to Higher Levels of Cortisol

Heavy marijuana use may trigger a stress response that increases cortisol levels.

Mentoring: The Missing Link for Highly Sensitive Children

Ever wonder if your sensitive child needs a mentor?

That’s Why I’m Here

Children and adolescents are really good at learning to control their psychophysiological processes because that's the business they're in. Self-regulating our own physiology, emotion and cognition is often more powerful than externally applied therapies. It is time to revolutionize health and care by balancing skills with pills -- helping children change their minds.

To Screen or Not To Screen?

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on May 18, 2015 in In Therapy
Should we keep screens away from kids? Or give them full access and let them work it out? Is there a middle ground?

Are Teenagers Getting Enough Sleep?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Media Spotlight
A new review study outlines much of the research looking at the different consequences of sleep loss in adolescents and why parents need to take this more seriously. The consequences of young people going without sleep can be far worse than you might think.

Why Children Might Benefit From a “Combination” Classroom

Many parents are concerned when their child is placed in a combined class (i.e., first and second graders or third and fourth graders together). Here are 9 advantages of “combo” classes

ADHD

Questions about ADHD for parents to ask psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists

Mom's Watchful Eyes

Did you know that mom’s watchful eyes can encourage more positive behavior behind the wheel?

Mad Men vs. Hill Street Blues

Which world do you choose?

Solving Humanity’s Emotional Disorders

In the last 1% of human genus existence, mental illness has become rampant. What are we doing wrong?

The Sexuality Of Schools

By Nick Luxmoore on May 16, 2015 in Young People Up Close
The way a school expresses or represses its collective sexual identity will have an effect on the individuals attending that school.

The Failure of Child-Centered Parenting

Parents love their children. So why wouldn't they want to be child-centered?

Parenting With Attitude

I love you kid, but I'm not your buddy...

The Digital Revolution & the Nature of Adolescent Passage

The very essence of communication has changed. The various social media, 24/7 news cycles and the ubiquitous presence of smart phones keep us connected whether we want to participate or not. As families have become more comfortable with allowing their children to have cell phones, there seems to be an evolution in the nature of the dynamics of child development.

Anxiety and Self-Doubt: Perfect Recipe for Underachievement

So many of us are afflicted with negative, left-over-from-childhood, programming that keep us from reaching our full potential. In my many years as a psychologist, the two self-defeating inscriptions I’ve encountered most are “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t succeed” (or “will fail”). And there are many other self-defeating beliefs that hold us back. . . .

Is it Mature to Be Competitive?

Are children involved with competitive activities more or less mature than their peers?

Kids Eat Poorly Because We're Psycho About Food and Eating

The message that unhealthy-tastes-better-than-healthy is a message that comes through loud and clear. And kids get it from the get-go. Parents, you’re not to blame. It’s our crazy culture. Even if you did everything right, your kids would still get the “talk healthy,” but dig-down-dirty message. It is the cultural equivalent of "Do what I say, not what I do."