5 Ways to Help Kids After a Disaster

As natural disasters like the wildfires in Fort McMurray increase in frequency, there are 5 simple things we can do to help children avoid the trauma of being forcibly displaced.

If You Want To Fix Kids' Problems, Let the Kids Lead

Here are five lessons I've learned for tackling serious problems that young people experience.

Horrible but True: Early Abuse Can Create Strength

Patterns of resilience depend on the quality of a child's environment. Sadly, abused children teach themselves ways to cope; kids from good homes can become delinquent.

Worried About Zika Virus? Mother’s Stress Also Harms Child

The zika virus reminds us that when a child’s health is at risk, we are quick to act. Why, then, have we still not taken action against the problems that stress mothers?

How Can We Help Syrian Children Resettle in the West?

Child refugees have a tremendous potential to integrate, but their resilience depends on the schools and communities we offer them.

Is the Kid Next Door a Terrorist? 12 Questions to Consider

It’s impossible to predict who will become a terrorist, though there are patterns to young people’s experiences that make acts of violence more likely.

The End of Rural Communities: Why Young People Leave

Research shows that young people prefer to remain in their rural communities if they have access to education and employment opportunities. It will take governments and the private sector to build resilient rural spaces that stop out-migration.

Bernie Sanders, Trudeau and Trump: Will More Youth Now Vote?

The youth would vote more if we presented them with progressive, genuine choices. Young people would also appreciate proportional representation, electronic voting, and other changes to the electoral process that make it easier for them to participate.

Does Mindfulness Really Make Us Resilient?

Mindfulness practices may help us focus and regulate our emotions, but their ability to change our lives is vastly overrated.

Frosh Week and Dangerous Drinking: What Can Parents Do?

While we know young people are likely to drink during frosh week, the real danger is that they could be dramatically under-estimating the amount of alcohol they're consuming. Here are some suggestions for parents who want to prevent their kids from developing a drinking problem.

When Parents Date Someone New, What's Best for the Kids?

Though parents are moving in and out of romantic relationships more often, there are things they can do to make these transitions easier for their children.

Surviving the Family Car Trip

Before you tell a child to sit still, stop annoying everyone, or threaten to leave him on the side of the road if he doesn’t stop asking questions, try offering another source of stimulation. Give the child a meaningful role like navigator or ice cream finder and see if bad behavior doesn't change into something more socially desirable.

Kids Are Safer Outside Than Inside Their Homes

A recent report on risky outdoor play tells us that our children are actually healthier when they are less supervised and outdoors in unstructured play than indoors and supervised by their parents. Overprotective parenting may actually be doing children more harm than good.

Prom Night and the Kids Are Going to Drink: What Do You Do?

Early exposure to alcohol in the home can be harmful to children if it leads to drunkenness, but coaching kids on how to drink responsibly at the prom may keep them safer than just preaching abstinence.

Working Moms Have Healthier, More Successful Kids

Though we spend more time with our kids these days than decades ago, it may not be improving their developmental outcomes. A study of family time diaries shows that family income is a better predictor of children's academic and psychological outcomes than the amount of individual attention they receive from their parents between the ages of 3 and 11.

When Do Religious Values Harm Children? When Do They Help?

When children's mental health is put in danger because of religious intolerance, there are good reasons for mental health professionals to argue for what's right. Gay-straight alliances save children's lives. And religious tolerance for practices like the wearing of a niqab improves social cohesion.

Parents Who Ignore Science Make Their Children Sick

When parents ignore the advice of scientists, children are needlessly exposed to mental, physical and spiritual dangers. Anxiety disorders are rising dramatically, measles have infected hundreds of children, and a lack of critical thinking among children are all problems caused by the same thing: misguided parenting practices.

Simple Solutions Won't Solve Children's Complex Problems

When children have complex needs that require help from both parents and many different service providers (e.g., special education, mental health, child welfare or corrections), no simple solution like a short course on mindfulness or a parenting course is going to be enough to make the child more resilient.

“I Still Love You” and Other Messages Troubled Kids Need

We all love parenting books that offer simple solutions to the big problems that troubled kids experience. Sadly, most of the advice will never work with kids whose problems are complex. Complex problems need complex solutions.

When Fighting Cancer, Resilience Isn't About Inner Strengths

The death of Aaron Purmort, whose struggles with a cancerous brain tumor were described online by his wife, Nora McInerny, might make us think resilience is about inner strength. But that’s not what makes us resilient. Resilience depends more on who loves us and the quality of our health care.

Some of Us Wear Our Disabilities on the Outside

We all have some personal challenge, even if it’s invisible to others. The people who inspire me are those willing to talk about the challenges they’ve faced, and what makes them resilient.

Lego Shortage Means Kids are Doing Better than We Thought

Parents and mental health professionals the world over can take heart. There is a shortage of Lego! Which means that our kids are still craving opportunities to develop age appropriate skills that come with simple, hands-on toys.

Why Parents Shouldn't Force Their Kids to Take Their Calls

A new app that forces kids to answer phone calls from their parents may increase their risk for distracted driving and threaten healthy parent-child relationships. Here’s some low-tech solutions to this problem that work far better for children and their parents.

When Dads Do Housework, Girls Have Higher Career Aspirations

Dads are in the news these days, for all the good things they can do as parents. Here are two of my favorite recent stories.

Does Religion Make Children Resilient?

A child’s participation in religious activity can make a child more resilient, but only if that experience helps the child access seven resources he or she needs to succeed.

The best playground is a mud hole

Cities are creating less structured wilderness play areas that look like what we adults enjoyed as children. While they may look unsafe, a lot of thought goes into making sure children experience manageable risks so parents can stop pestering their children with advice on how to play.

Barbers Teach Men to Parent, and Imams Prevent Paedophilia

The supports we offer children to grow up safe and healthy can often look rather unusual. While we tend to think of social capital as informal supports, many community programs offer creative ways of engaging community members who can help children thrive.

8th Graders Who Kill

If we want to prevent 14-year-olds from killing innocent bystanders, we will need to think about what we can do as families, schools, and communities to help children find other ways to express their need for power, stimulation, and the drama through which powerful identities are formed.

Resilient Male Students Get Lower Grades

Male university students who self-report higher resilience do not, as a group, do as well academically as their resilient female counterparts. A deeper understanding of resilience can help us understand why more male children are orchids and female children dandelions. Only the dandelions have proven themselves capable of dealing with stress.

The "Hidden" Epidemic of Attempted Suicide Among Adolescents

A 17-country study shows that one in 10 teenagers report attempting suicide. The solutions to this huge problem may not, however, be in providing more individual treatment. Research suggests that we need, instead, to help adolescents develop a sense of belonging in their schools, communities, and when they're with their families.