Walking on Eggshells: When Good Parenting Becomes Prying

When does good parenting cross the line to prying and spying? Parents and kids disagree in surprising ways.

Backyard Chickens Part I: Babyness

I wanted the chickens for the eggs, and to feel closer to nature. It made relative economic sense and fit into my longstanding garden, fishponds, and love of the old fashioned. I didn't expect them to be so darn CUTE.

Get Out! Sneaky Kids and Prying Parents Make a Toxic Mix

Do parents who pry know more about their teen's lives?

Is the science behind sniffer dogs bogus?

Are sniffer dogs effective or are do they only reflect their handlers' prejudices?

If Psychology is Interesting, Why Aren't Scientific Psychology Papers?

The creative act of doing science is different than the creative act of making art. In the arts, the prototypic act of creativity is one that throws out old ideas and does something NEW. Creativity in the sciences is different.

Questions From China About the US's Tiger Mom Obsession

A major Chinese magazines asks why Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom has received so much attention in the US.

Chores Are Good for Kids

Families should be about people helping each other sharing mutual respect and responsibility.Kids who contribute to the household can feel good about what they do, learn the value of being genuinely appreciated, and develop a deep sense of appreciation - what the Dalai Lama calls one of the 10 signs of true happiness.

Who's On First: Abbott & Costello, Flashcards & Cognition

In the middle of practicing Spanish flash cards, I found myself in Abbot and Costello's classic Who's On First dialogue.  As Piaget learned, sometimes little errors tell you something important about how kid's think differently than adults.

Caledonian Crows Parent Pretty Well Too

Caledonian crows stand apart from their fellow corvids in the flexibility and sophistication of their toolmaking.  Their family life also stands apart.  They live in nuclear families, the parents bond and groom one another, and the children enjoy an extended childhood, long apprenticeship, and occassionally indulgent adolescence.

Why Threats Don't Work: Parenting Effectively

The mom looked down, shocked, at her bare legs and worn underpants. She was standing at the edge of a crowded gym. Her 4 year old crowed triumphantly, holding the skirt he had just tugged to her ankles, his eyes on her face and ready to run.

Flinching from the Tiger Mom

In her new book on Tiger Moms, Amy Chua talks about not letting her daughters watch TV, forcing them to play the piano and/or violin, not letting them be in sports or participate in school plays, and refusing to let them have have play dates or go on sleepovers. She's called her daughters 'garbage'. What we can learn from her anyway.

Why Child's Play is Tough on Parents Part 2: The Mess

Keep the play. Lose the mess. If you're not happy, they won't be either.

Why Child's Play Is Tough for Parents: Part I

Play is the natural way for kids to learn, grow, be happy, and fit into the world they will inhabit as adults. But they don't just do it themselves. They want to do it with YOU.

Close Your Laptop and Look At Your Kids

Three reasons you'll keep reading this even when your kids want attention.

Feeling confident about confidence intervals

Psychologists want to learn the truth about how real people think, feel, and behave. But all we ever get to study are samples.

Christmas in Small Pieces

Maybe lots of small traditions are better than striving for that one perfect moment

The Average Person Spends Two Weeks of Their Life Kissing

Snapple's Real Facts say that people spend an average of two weeks of their lives kissing. You wouldn't think that would get a bunch of psychology students arguing.

Why is the alphabet in alphabetical order?

My husband rolled over in bed the other morning. “I was dreaming about the periodic table. I wonder if the alphabet is in the right order.” (Sometimes I feel like Ms. Frizzle, without her Magic School Bus.)

Teasing and Bullying, Boys and Girls

Bullying and teasing may sometimes feel the same to the victim, but they function very differently.

Does Time Fly When You're Getting Old?

Everyone says time rushes by faster and faster as we get old. But does it? New research suggests that the answer is 'no'.

When Kids Miss the Point: Rubrics

Rubrics are a useful tool to help students understand teacher expectations and develop their own skills. But if students just see them as a way to get graded, the benefit is lost. Maybe we should explain rubrics to them.

What Parents Should Know: Adolescents Are Kindergartners

Every day when my youngest's school bus rolled up to the driveway, we'd have to wake him up. I was reminded of that yesterday when he dragged himself into my office after school and we started the short walk home. By the time we had gotten down the stairs and past the bike racks, he was already raging. A few blocks later, he was crying.

What Parents Should Know: Adolescents Are Like Lawyers

In many ways, middle schoolers think like stereotypical lawyers. They like to argue. They fit facts to their theories instead of theories to facts. They anticipate your arguments and twist them in ways you never thought they could. And they build arguments that just defy common sense.

What Parents Should Know: Adolescents Are Like Toddlers

During their growth spurt, middle schoolers are growing as fast as toddlers. And like toddlers, they can melt down if their bellies aren't full and they haven't had enough sleep. Practical tips on meeting those needs.

Can Parents Help College Students Too Much?

The transition to college lets students bond with peers, learn new skills, and meet adults who will help them figure out who they are, where they want to go, and how to get there.  How can parents be supportive, but let their kids feel that triumph of making it on their own?

Moms Recruit Aliens to Protect Babies

Babies are born both completely vulnerable and readymade to evoke protection from a hostile world.  Mothers have also evolved unique systems to help their babies protect themselves.  And they've enlisted the aid of aliens to do it.

Back from College with the Introjected Parent

Graduating from college marks the true beginning of adulthood for many youth.  Ironically, the first thing they do is often moving back home with mom and dad.  Old issues and new ones can surface as parents and their now adult children try to squeeze back together into the nest.

Why Parenting Isn’t Fun

Most people will say that they love their children beyond reckoning and that they bring immeasurable joy into their lives. But study after study shows that people without children are as happy - or HAPPIER - than those without them and parents rate parenting as one of the least satisfying parts of their lives. What's going on?

Moving is tough for kids

The effects of moving a lot as a child can be seen all the way into adulthood. But moving isn't just tough on the kids who go - it's tough on the ones who stay as well. How do you cope when your best friend leaves?