If you’re the type of person who tends to cover your eyes during the violent scenes in a movie, and you cringe at violent slapstick humor, it may be hard to imagine why anyone would want to play violent video games, but their popularity is undeniable. How can we understand the appeal of violent video games for kids and how should parents respond?
Fans insist, “I’ve played hundreds of hours of violent video games and haven’t murdered anyone!” But anyone who has ever felt excited, tense, or frustrated while playing a video game has been “affected” by them. Does this translate into meaningful real life outcomes? Here's what parents should know about the effects—and noneffects—of violent video games.
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.
We live in a technology-saturated time. Our smart phones and tablets are useful and very compelling, but there’s no question that they can pull us away from being present to our children. On the other hand, constantly staring at our kids in rapture is neither realistic nor desirable.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we automatically knew the best way to raise our children? Intuition involves “gut feelings” that happen without conscious or deliberate weighing of facts, and it has been well documented by research. But what does this mean for parents?
Whenever there’s a terrible case of bullying in the news, people wonder, “How could this happen?” and “Why didn’t any kids come forward earlier to stop this?” In part, kids say nothing out of fear—because they don’t want to be the next one targeted! But here are some of the beliefs and psychological processes that can lead kid kids to turn a blind eye to bullying.
The usual advice is to sandwich criticism between praise, but that doesn’t really soften the blow. If we want others to respond constructively to our criticism, we need to be able to give it in a way that decreases their defensiveness.
"Frenemies" are friends who run hot and cold. They're often fun, exciting, and popular, but they’re also risky, because they can ruthlessly turn on their friends when it suits their interests. How can you help your child cope?
Many children have trouble coping with winning and losing. They gloat and brag when they win. They cry, sulk, or accuse others of cheating if they lose. Here are some ways to help kids take competition in stride.