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

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The Roots of Social Justice – Kids’ Responses to Inequality

At what age can kids consider fairness to others?

Where Do Our Earliest Memories Come From?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in Talking Apes
New research shows that autobiographical memory depends on our language skills, especially the ability to tell stories.

How We Became ADHD Nation

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in Side Effects
How did we reach the point where one in seven American children is diagnosed with ADHD?

Why Are Kids So Anxious These Days?

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in Nurturing Resilience
New research shows that more and more adolescents are at risk of mental illness. The solution may not be more treatment but changing children’s environments to be less stressful.

12 Warning Signs Your Child May Have a Mental Health Issue

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in Singletons
Nearly one in five children is affected with an emotional or behavioral disorder. How to recognize a problem and find help.

Television With Tots: Guilt Free Co-Viewing Recommendations

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on September 29, 2016 in Screen Time
Have concerns about your young child's screen time? These few recommendation may help.

The Cerebellum May Drive Sex Distinction in Our Social Brain

By Christopher Bergland on September 29, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
How do sex differences play a role in the development of our social brain? A new study on specific neurons in the cerebellum (Latin for "little brain") offers some valuable clues.

Biological Foundations for Self-Directed Education

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Freedom to Learn
Self-directed education—as it occurs in unschooling families and at democratic schools--operates by allowing these four natural drives to flourish. ....

A Pioneer in Child Sleep Research and Treatment

A Pioneer in Child Sleep Research and Practice

How An Art Break Helps Kids Learn

By Darby Saxbe Ph.D. on September 27, 2016 in Home Base
Integrating play and creativity into the school day may help children learn. Here's an innovative school counseling program that did just that.

The Bonus Effect

By Alfie Kohn on September 27, 2016 in The Homework Myth
If you're told "Do this, and you'll get that," you're likely to become less interested in "this" -- and more interested in "that." Especially if "that" turns out to be money.
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What Is Healthy Narcissism?

What is Healthy Narcissism? The joy of self-love can be powerful and sustaining.

Will Your Gamer Survive College?

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on September 26, 2016 in Mental Wealth
If you're concerned about your son's video game habits spinning out of control when he goes to college, you're right to be worried—but here's what parents can do.
www.cnn.com

Divorce Pitfalls to Avoid, Part Two

During divorce parents confront numerous dilemmas that damage relationships with their children. By avoiding divorce pitfalls, you will enhance the relationships with you children
Ken Ginsburg

I Do Not Have an “Empty Nest,” My Children Are “In Flight”

Are you in mourning because your child is growing up? Are you wondering what life looks like after your teen leaves home? Let's celebrate both independence and interdependence.

15 Questions to Test Your 'Niceness Quotient'

Social skills are such a key part of life that most of us rarely give them conscious thought. New research provides a tool to help you evaluate yours.

Suicide in Children — What Every Parent Must Know

Only about one-third of children or young adolescents who died from suicide told anyone that they intended to kill themselves. Do you know the risk factors?

The Importance of Family Dinnertime: Part Two

By Robyn Fivush Ph.D. on September 23, 2016 in The Stories of Our Lives
Stories emerge naturally around the dinner table. Here are a few tips to maximize their impact on your children.

The Importance of Family Dinnertime: Part One

By Robyn Fivush Ph.D. on September 23, 2016 in The Stories of Our Lives
Families that eat dinner together have adolescents who do better, and family storytelling is part of the reason why.

"Daddy, Can I Die and Make the Pain Stop?"

By Kevin D. Arnold Ph.D., ABPP on September 22, 2016 in The Older Dad
Some young children think about suicide, but adults often never hear the cry for help.

My Easygoing Kid Is Stressing Me Out!

If you are a Type A parent, raising a Type B tween can be rigorous. A part of you probably admires your low-key kid, even though his laid back attitude can at times make you crazy.

How Vision Problems and Celiac Disease Masquerade as ADHD

By Marilyn Wedge Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in Suffer the Children
Celiac disease or gluten intolerance can also affect a child's ability to think clearly and focus at school.

The Blank Slate Controversy

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in The Human Beast
Behaviorists used to argue that people were blank slates in the sense that almost all of our behavior was learned. Evolutionary psychologists disagree. Who is correct?

An Insecure Childhood Affects How You Deal With Adult Stress

By Douglas LaBier Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in The New Resilience
If you experienced insecurity in your relationship with your parents, you're likely to have difficulty when faced with stressful decisions or situations.

A Simple Way to Keep Your Kids Off Drugs

By Temma Ehrenfeld on September 21, 2016 in Open Gently
Better sleep for pre-teens is tied to less drinking and pot smoking through their 20s.

Does an Abusive Upbringing Damage the Brain?

There are well-known associations between abuse or neglect early in life and later psychological or psychiatric complications. What do we know about what goes on in the brain?

Storytelling Is a Conduit for Intergenerational Learning

Have you shared a well-told story with a teen or grandchild lately? The result could be transformative for both of you!

Kids Learn That Robots Are Not Just Things

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 19, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
One of the most complicated tasks children have to perform is learning about the types of objects in their world. Robots are a particularly complicated kind of object.
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

Adolescence and Four Skills of Self-Discipline

Developing self-discipline is part of growing independence as one develops the capacity to become one's own authority when it comes to accomplishing what one needs to do.

Divorce Pitfalls to Avoid, Part One

Divorce imposes challenges, reshuffling relationships between child and parents. Avoiding these divorce pitfalls will enhance your relationships for your child beyond the family.