by Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
Type “parenting books” into the Google search engine and you get 662 million hits. Add the Mommy blogs—another 46,700,000 surface. OMG—what is a parent to do with all of this information?
All we really want is the best and trusted advice for raising our kids. We want a scientifically vetted grandmother—a kind of Digital Dear Abby who can tell us the latest findings about what is good for our children and who can interpret them in a way that makes sense in our living rooms and local parks. But alas, there is nowhere to turn for this information. Instead there are thousands of recipes for how to make a better cupcake and what activities you can take to the park and even wonderful anecdotes by one of our colleagues who writes about “No where to go and all day to get there.”
Enter—Your Other Mothers. We have totally been there—as parents who raised 5 successful children (OK—they are young adults now) and as developmental psychologists who actually generate the research and know the science speak. We decided to do this blog to bring you some trusted perspective from the field and to do so in plain English. We wrote the parenting books—no joke, we have award winning parenting books like How Babies Talk (Dutton/Penguin) and Einstein Never Used Flashcards (Rodale, dubbed the best parenting book in 2003). We give dozens of scientific and public lectures on the science of raising smart and happy children and we have been spokespersons for the press for decades. Just two days ago we gave interviews on a range of topics for Fox News, Slate Magazine and PBS all in one day.
When we are not talking to the press or dealing with pressing mommy issues (yes, they still exist even when your kids are in their 20s and 30s), we are in our laboratories generating data on questions about basic language learning, literacy, spatial development, the science of learning and the role of play in building academic readiness. We publish hundreds of scientific papers and we write scientific books. You can actually see more about us on our websites. We are even friends with the folks doing some of the fancy brain research so we can share what we really do and do not know about exercising the brain.
In this blog, we want to step out of the halls of Ivy (as has now become somewhat of our tradition) and to bring you the latest and most trusted research findings. Our goal is not to tell you what to do, but to invite you into our world in a way that is accessible and usable. We want to entice you with the sense of discovery that we have every day as we watch our children learn. We want to share some of the evidence-based tidbits and to offer some of the interpretation of the findings that are generated and reported on in the news.
We are not new to this kind of outreach (though we are just getting our sea legs with respect to social media). We were the thought team behind the Ultimate Block Party which brought 50,000 folks into Central Park for a day of activities centered on the science of learning. We are the folks who worked with our colleagues to develop LearnNow, an e-zine that brings the current scientific findings to life for parents and educators. And today we begin the next chapter with Your Other Mothers. We hope that you will join us as we open the world of scientific wonder on how to think about and raise children for 21st Century success. And if we can figure out how to use it, we hope you will also join us on Twitter: @yrothermothers. (Our kids promise to teach us.)
If you are overwhelmed with the 700 million possible places to look for information about kids, stop here. In the information age sifting through mountains of information can be as important as having that information. You have just met the interpreters and sifters. Welcome to Your Other Mothers.