Essential Reads

What Do Children Know About Climate Change?

There are proven strategies to help children become eco-warriors

The Perfect Graduation Gift: A Coat for All Seasons!

Give your son or daughter life's ultimate edge!

The Surprising News about Children's Mental Health

New research suggest today’s kids are in pretty good psychological shape

Recent Posts on Child Development

Spelling Knowledge Matters for High School Reading Fluency

A renown cognitive psychologist is touting the importance of spelling for reading achievement. He says spelling, which continues to develop even into high school, is just as important for high school and college-ready reading fluency as sounding out words in kindergarten. He’s right!

The Boy Genius and the Genius in All of Us

In The Boy Who Played with Fusion, Tom Clynes tells a fascinating story about a boy’s pursuit of a passionate interest in nuclear physics, and draws some surprising conclusions about the nature and development of genius-level intelligence. Clynes considers the roles played not only by innate ability and environmental factors, but also by temperament, culture, and politics.

The Enneagram: Teens Speak for Themselves I

A taste of interviews of teens and former teens, types 1-4. See types 5-9 in my next blog June 16.

Here’s A Smart Monkey!

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on June 01, 2015 in Screen Time
All good preschool children’s programs include several factors that make them successful and long running, which can be explained by the included content and the medium through which it is delivered.

Once Private, Growing Up Is Now Public

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on June 01, 2015 in Singletons
The journey of growing up was once personal; now it is so public. Today teenagers’ sense of selves ar being defined by what they see on You Tube and Facebook and how they present themselves on social networking sites. How can parents keep their teenagers safe and raise them to be successful, caring, and productive adults in the face of technology’s grip? Here, a roadmap.

Teens Redefining "Norms"

By Shimi Kang M.D. on June 01, 2015 in The Dolphin Way
Teens versus school dress codes—should they be able to dress however they choose? Teenagers express themselves through clothing and blogs. A teenage girl causes controversy amongst parents when told to "cover up" by her school and responds with a three-page letter citing hyper-sexualization of women and sexist dress codes at school.

Do Smartphones Give A Head Start In Life?

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on June 01, 2015 in Mind Change
Babies as young as six months old are being given smartphones to play with. Pediatric experts have weighed in on the benefits and risks of giving infants smartphones.

Divorce Cases Involving Children with Autism

Considering the high rates of autism diagnosis, how can it be that the family court system - there to serve the ‘best interests of the child’ - has so little knowledge about the affects of autism on children? How can family court counselors and custody evaluators make assessments in divorce cases that include children with autism if they are not knowledgeable about ASD?

A Child is Being Beaten—Ever or Never?

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) made famous the stark phrase “the banality of evil.” This complex idea connotes colossal destructiveness done by men of less than colossal character. The everyday pervasiveness of senseless cruelty---humankind’s inhumanity toward itself---makes it clear that the inclination of destructiveness is real. Effective parenting is primary prevention.

Raising Happily Productive Kids in Every Kind of Family

What works to support children’s optimal development works, whether you’re raising your kids in a traditional family, in the midst of divorce, part of a gay couple, or doing anything else that doesn’t look like ‘Leave It to Beaver.’ Here are ten rules for raising happily productive kids, no matter what kind of family you’re creating.

Don’t Worry. Make an Expansive Move, and Be Happy.

By Steve Sisgold on May 29, 2015 in Life in a Body
Create more happiness and less stress through being aware of our body movements..

Throwing Bullets on the Fire

By John Sean Doyle on May 28, 2015 in Luminous Things
We look at the mindless and senseless things people do and it is easy to blame. How can they be so stupid? Didn’t they think for a moment? But as long as there is no ricochet or crash, we are allowed to forget that we too are irresponsible and thoughtless. Every one of us is negligent. But to be negligent and unlucky? That is a crime no one can ever shake off.

Is There a "Right" Way to Praise Your Child?

Praising your child can be bad for them.

Moneygrams: Recalled Childhood Memories About Money

A surprising number of people are "money troubled." Because money is a taboo topic, people often get surprised by the money beliefs and habits of their partners who they have known for a long time. But where do these money attitudes and habits come from? Do we have moneygrams from our childhood?

Kids and TV

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in Screen Time
Why do you think people tend to be so fearful about the effects on TV?

Invading Privacy in the Name of Safety

Whether or not we allow parents and governments to invade our privacy depends on how the question is framed - is it a safety or moral concern or is simply an issue that concerns only ourselves.

What Do Children Know About Climate Change?

Children are the future stewards of our fragile ecosystem. What does research tell us about what children know and feel about environmental threats, such as climate change? What are the best ways to educate and engage children on these issues?

High Stakes Testing in America

“Thank God it’s over.” That’s what my high school educator friend in Florida says. The fattening-the-pig-by-weighing-it, over-the-top testing, happened almost every day from March to mid-May and impacted every student in his school. Everyone’s overwrought with this mess, most likely including the guy who started it, Jeb Bush.

The Four R's - Reading, 'Riting, "Rithmatic and Resonance

By Amy Banks on May 26, 2015 in Wired For Love
Connection and cooperation are part of the everyday lives of most people and a strong mirror neuron system is essential in each and every one of life’s negotiations. It is high time that we add the fourth “R” to the basic skills taught in education—reading, ‘riting, ’rithmetic, and resonance!

The Perfect Graduation Gift: A Coat for All Seasons!

What is the one gift that can help your kids to succeed? The best part about it --- it's free!

The Inconvenience of Tackling and Eliminating Defiance

Parenting can be an inconvenience that every parent has to come to terms with. The parenting relationship is not one that money alone can solve, or one that can be tackled remotely.

Conversation with a Mother about Sleep Training her Baby

Dear Dr., I need help! I have a lovely 11 month old baby girl and my husband and I both work full-time… I resorted to sleep coaching recently… I am afraid that we have already done irreparable damage to our sweet baby.

Self-Esteem and Your Inner Biker

The news pumps up the biker “shootout” in Waco. The psychology of abandon cuts through the hype and examines how biker gangs mirror the struggle for self-esteem that shapes all of us—even you and me. Gun your engines.

The Wacky Neuroscience of Forgetting How to Ride a Bicycle

A new experiment with a "backwards brain bicycle" illustrates how easy it is to forget everything you thought you knew about riding a bicycle. In this blog post, I'll explore the neuroscience behind learning—and forgetting—how to ride a bicycle.

The Surprising News about Children's Mental Health

How mentally healthy are today’s children and teens? A comprehensive new survey shows that the current generation of young people are in better shape than we’ve realized. However, trends in medication use continue to draw concern by mental health experts.

No Way Did I Want to Die

Adolescents want to feel pleasure, takes risks and be social. Add in a brain that is impulsive and emotional and you have a set up for potential addiction. This is a story about just such a teen.

Toddlers Understand the Cost of Actions

By Art Markman Ph.D. on May 22, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
When a friend refuses to help you with something, that may or may not upset you. It depends on their ability to help as well as the cost of that help. What do young children do?

What Really Motivates Kids

What really motivates kids (and adults for that matter)? Not rewards. Not punishments. Not even intrinsic motivation! My goodness -- what's left?

Balancing a Japanese and Irish Heritage

I have learned to balance my parents' lessons in living.