“I Want It—Now!” How Children Learn Self-Control

A child acts up, making a fuss in public. Bystanders are embarrassed by the situation and assume either the parent is irresponsible or the child is a nightmare. Where does child self-control come from?

Why Synchronize and Bond With Your Children

The development of healthy synchronic bonds is the cornerstone of adaptive social life, and it starts in infancy.

Kindness in Kids and The Nature-Nurture Debate

Lucy wants Charlie's toy. He gives it to her, happily. Is his kindness nature or nurture?

Industrial vs Primal Intelligence: What We Are Missing

Why do hunter-gatherers live more intelligently connected to the earth, unlike Euro-descendent societies? Childhood intelligence development may play a large role...

Explaining the Ferguson Killing: Five Factors

Michael Brown did not follow police officer Darren Wilson's order to walk on the sidewalk and the officer escalated the situation. Why does killing a disrespectful teenager seem “right”? Here are five overlapping explanations.

American Indians: The Misunderstood Heritage

It’s Native American Heritage month and but most people are ignorant of or mistaken about the heritage. If you use the terms “savage” or “bloodthirsty” to describe the natives at the time of European settlement, as a 2014 book does, you might have an anti-Indian view.

The Morality of Olive Kitteridge

The morality of the self can vary, from the self-protectiveness of Olive Kitteridge to the openhearted and open-mindedness of her husband, Henry.

Love & Life: Who Decides What Lives?

In a recent post, I discussed 10 signs of love for people or place. I felt those signs recently towards a neighbor in the natural world as described in the free verse below. But did I love my neighbor?

Ten Signs of Love

I recently read a list of 10 characteristics of love that grabbed my attention. In asking what it means to deeply love a person and what it means to love a place, Kathleen Dean Moore found that the answers converge.

Bullying Starts With Babies

Adults seem to have an easier time pointing fingers at child bullies than at adult bullies. There’s a notion that children are bullies by nature. Wrong. Adults often don’t realize that child bullying is learned from adults. Bullying attitudes are built into mainstream ideas about parenting. Don’t fall for them.

Moral Absence in Everyday Life

From child and partner abuse to buying products that pollute and destroy biodiversity, immorality is rooted in a lack of moral presence with those whom your actions affect. Whether from a sense of superiority, disgust, fear, duty or anger, it boils down to moral absence, a lack of relational presence-in-the-moment. It can happen to all of us.

Chimp Violence: Does It Matter For Human Self-Understanding?

A recent paper argues that Chimpanzee violence is genetic (though the study only shows that human interference is not the cause). Even if violence were genetic in chimps, would it matter for humanity’s self-understanding?

Can Isolated Babies Become “Real” Human Beings?

The Velveteen Rabbit, a popular children’s book, depicts how a stuffed rabbit becomes “real” from the love of a boy (and some magic). I’m afraid that what we are routinely doing to babies today is taking them in the opposite direction. They are becoming less “real,” that is, less human.

What is Child Flourishing?

Scholars explore the contexts for child flourishing and how to nurture families for child wellbeing.

Breastfeeding: What Is It Good For?

In honor of Breastfeeding Month, here are key things you should know and a new resource to get the inside scoop.

6 Hidden Myths Behind Baby Sleep Training Advocacy

In societies that are peaceful, babies are held nearly all the time and never sleep alone. They grow up to be more independent and self-reliant than any of us. Yet in the English-speaking West, we have a virulent subculture of baby independence, including forcing them to sleep alone. What gives? Here are the myths I think are driving the subculture.

Rebuking Bad Parenting Advice: Did We Go Too Far?

Cry-it-out sleep training has NOT been proven safe, contrary to what many parenting media report. When we outlined the logical and factual failures typical of such reporting we got an immediate rebuttal. Here’s why we stand by our original assertions and then some...

Child Sleep Training’s “Best Review of Research”

A proliferation of “Sleep Clinics” are charging large fees to teach parents how to train infants and young children to sleep. Is this good for children? What do the data say? Not much.

Parents Misled by Cry-It-Out Sleep Training Reports

Mainstream media mistakenly asserts once again crying-it-out sleep training as harmless to babies. It is far from the truth.

Elephant Weeps at Rescue After 50 Years of Enslavement

As a child I was divorced from nature, thinking animals dangerous, irritating or boring, a symptom of disconnection from nature. Learning about the rescue and weeping of elephant, Raju, shows how much I've changed.

Creating a Peaceful World Through Parenting

We all want peace but we are surrounded with psychopathology. How do we decrease the amount of psychopathy in our society and increase peaceableness? Here are 17 things we can do.

Raising a Baby Well: Like Climbing Mount Everest

Mountain climbers prepare for the strains of challenging mountains. Wise parenting also takes preparation. I examine the parallels, from practice and focus to respect and support.

Should Toddlers Be Medicated for ADHD?

How does a family get to the point of putting a 2-year-old on drugs? How do toddlers become out of control? Let’s look at the players in the world of the child.

Successful Motherhood Is a Collaboration

Mothers raising children at home alone is a strange and recent phenomenon and contrary to optimizing child development and mothers’ flourishing.

How Modern Societies Violate Human Development

The modern world has been making itself into a pathological place by establishing as ‘normal’ various practices that violate basic human needs. This leads to the development of suboptimal creatures who willy-nilly destroy their habitat (yes, us!). I present a short list of violations.

Five Things NOT to Do to Babies

When I had a puppy, he hated to be ignored or left alone. At those times he would chew up the furniture. Babies hate these things too, but they can’t damage the furniture to let us know. Instead, their development gets undermined and we and society have to live with the anxious and depressed results.

Why Play With a Child?

Do you ever get to the end of the day and you feel exhausted, like you just can't do anything more and just want to relax? And then as you take off your jacket and your shoes, you hear: "Mommy! Daddy! Come play with me!" Although playing with your child may seem like a hassle, you will probably think twice about saying “no” after reading this.

What's Better: Indoor or Outdoor Play?

What is valuable about outdoor play?

Infant Couch Potatoes

Should babies (0-2) be playing with tablets, watching television or videos?

Does Too Much Screen Time Make Kids Sick?

In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that children have no more than two hours of non-school-related screen time per weekday but children have much more than that. Does it matter?