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 Golden Ages of Television

As the baby boomer generation moves increasingly into old age, it is gratifying and inspiring to see older actors performing on television into their eighties – and beyond.

5 Tips for the Parents of Teens Who Make Rudeness an Art

The topic of teens' social behaviors never seem to lose their popularity, but many recent reports suggest that teen rudeness is increasing. What can parents do to bring their adolescents' behavior back in line?

Do Boys Need Rough and Tumble Play?

Why do boys wrestle and play pretend fighting? Do all boys do this? Should we view it as violence or innocent fun?

5 Tips for Taming Overly Wired and Overly Rude Teens

Rude teenagers may be simply practicing the skills their parents have allowed to take root. If a child grows up interacting in a private, virtual world more often than interacting one-on-one with family, a whole slew of social skills and social learning will be missed.

Siblings Are the Awesomest: Children Talk About Siblings

I figured if Piaget was able to develop entire theories and write countless books on cognitive development based on observations of his own children, I can at least write one article using the perspectives of my own offspring.

Why Are People with Disabilities the Targets of Violence?

Why do offenders target people with disabilities? Are there links between types of disability and type of victimization? The Data Doctor answers a question from the aunt of a former student.

Coping with Adversity from "Inside Out"

This film effectively and hilariously shines a light on the inner workings of our emotional brains and why we struggle at times. Most powerfully, its metaphor of "Emotions at Your Central Control Panel" offers a useful way to reflect on our own feelings and how they can push us to react, sometimes to our disadvantage. Required viewing for anyone operating a human brain.

Beyond the Toddler Years

We are continuing our exploration of the three pillars of human development--Affects (Feelings), Language, and Cognition. This month we wrap up the section of Language by examining the link between feelings and words, a process we call translation.

Sentimental Journey

By Susan Hooper on June 30, 2015 in Detours and Tangents
Summer vacations in my childhood meant annual visits to my parents’ families in New England. This summer I returned to my mother’s Vermont hometown for the first time in decades. I found people and places there that reminded me happily of my mother, her family and my own youth.

Play Makes Children Smart, Happy and Prepared for the Future

This blog is about the myriad benefits of play for children. Too much cerebral focus and too little spontaneous thought can be damaging for creativity, intellect and overall wellbeing.

How Does Scent Drive Human Behavior?

Researchers have identified how specific scents can motivate your decision making.

How Does Your Child Sleep?

Having difficulty getting your child to bed down in the evenings? Check out this new book for frazzled families.

A Love Letter to Mothers of Sons

Although mother-daughter relationships are often fraught with conflict, mothers and their adult daughters seem to have an easier time with each other than mothers and their adult sons..Read about the real nature of a man's relationship with his mother, the first love of his life, and how and why it changes so drastically.

When The Apple Falls Close to the Tree

In many cases, children with clinically significant psychiatric symptoms have a parent or other family member(s) with the same, often undiagnosed, issues.

Build Your Young Child’s Future School Success NOW

Prediction is often the key measurement in intelligence tests. Activities allowing your child to recognize, play with, and create patterns build his power of prediction.Successful prediction is one of the best problem-solving strategies the brain has and necessary for successful reading, calculating, test taking, goal setting, and appropriate social behavior.

Groupies, Deviants, Devils and Flourishing

Should we blame wild music, or outlandish art, or the over-the-edge theater for adolescent deviance, or can it be helpful?

Physically Active Children Grow Up to Be Healthier Adults

Why are children who exercise regularly more likely to remain healthy and fit into adulthood?

Child Abuse Prepares for a Lifetime of Mental Health Issues

Children who are abused, physically, emotionally, sexually or neglected, have different adult brains than their counterparts who were not abused.

Inside Out—A Major Emotional IQ Picture

The voices in our heads are real—and these distinct personalities can learn to get along.

Will Valuable Lessons Continue with Violence?

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in Screen Time
See the Mocking Jay's World Before it Rest - The Hunger Games: The Exhibition will open on July 1. The exhibit will provide fans with an insider's view of Panem everything from costumes to hands-on interactions. The level of violent content within is cause for discussion on its continuance. Will a similar level of violent now become commonplace in young adult media?

5 Difficult Concepts Made Easier by Disney's "Inside Out"

Disney's "Inside Out" provides an accessible and memorable framework for understanding some rather complex ideas. Allow me to outline 5 difficult concepts this movie makes easier to explain.

Memory Doesn't Always Deceive

Psychology has some horrible experiments on its conscience - or ought to have.

Parenting Without Punishment: A Humanist Perspective, Part 2

Given the particular situation, children (like all the rest of us) are doing the best they’re capable of. So what are some ways that parents might effectively confront their child’s annoying, hazardous, or otherwise troublesome behavior—without, that is, having to punish them for it?

Inside Out—And Beyond

It could have been awful. A movie that teaches kids about emotions could have been dry and preachy. Instead, Pixar’s Inside Out is an exciting and compelling tour of inner life that’s grounded in science plus an authentic understanding of how kids feel. Here are three lessons about emotions from the movie--plus one more.

When Bipolar Disorder Moved Into the House

By Hara Estroff Marano on June 24, 2015 in Brainstorm
In this new film, a bipolar father learns to take care of his two daughters Or did they take care of him?

ART in ASD, Part One

Could imbalance in the autonomic nervous system explain the complexity and heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Could teaching kids and families affected by ASD skills in autonomic regulation broadly improve comfort and functioning? This is the first of three blog posts on our work at the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation at RIT.

Relational Reasoning Shows How Kids Think Without Thinking

By Garth Sundem on June 23, 2015 in Brain Trust
Study shows how young children intuit relationships that older children over-think and can't see.

Dylann Roof—Evil or Ill?

How to think about the Charleston killings and Dylann Roof

Delight, Cruelty and Young People

By Nick Luxmoore on June 23, 2015 in Young People Up Close
How can anyone delight in young people capable of doing terrible things?