Essential Reads

Play, Common Core, and Early Reading Untangled

Common Core kindergarten standards are OK according to reading researchers.

Love for a Killer: "A Very Evil Kid”

Killer? Look for abuse, neglect, trauma, or undercare

“Two-ness:” the Mind’s Binary Code

Can Parents Eliminate Envy by Better Parenting? Second Thoughts

What Will Your Children Remember About You?

The most memorable childhood memories reflect the child-parent bond.

Recent Posts on Child Development

How Does Scent Drive Human Behavior?

Researchers have identified how specific scents can motivate your decision making.

How Does Your Child Sleep?

Having difficulty getting your child to bed down in the evenings? Check out this new book for frazzled families.

A Love Letter to Mothers of Sons

Although mother-daughter relationships are often fraught with conflict, mothers and their adult daughters seem to have an easier time with each other than mothers and their adult sons..Read about the real nature of a man's relationship with his mother, the first love of his life, and how and why it changes so drastically.

When The Apple Falls Close to the Tree

In many cases, children with clinically significant psychiatric symptoms have a parent or other family member(s) with the same, often undiagnosed, issues.

Build Your Young Child’s Future School Success NOW

Prediction is often the key measurement in intelligence tests. Activities allowing your child to recognize, play with, and create patterns build his power of prediction.Successful prediction is one of the best problem-solving strategies the brain has and necessary for successful reading, calculating, test taking, goal setting, and appropriate social behavior.

Groupies, Deviants, Devils and Flourishing

Should we blame wild music, or outlandish art, or the over-the-edge theater for adolescent deviance, or can it be helpful?

Physically Active Children Grow Up to Be Healthier Adults

Why are children who exercise regularly more likely to remain healthy and fit into adulthood?

Child Abuse Prepares for a Lifetime of Mental Health Issues

Children who are abused, physically, emotionally, sexually or neglected, have different adult brains than their counterparts who were not abused.

Inside Out—A Major Emotional IQ Picture

The voices in our heads are real—and these distinct personalities can learn to get along.

Will Valuable Lessons Continue with Violence?

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in Screen Time
See the Mocking Jay's World Before it Rest - The Hunger Games: The Exhibition will open on July 1. The exhibit will provide fans with an insider's view of Panem everything from costumes to hands-on interactions. The level of violent content within is cause for discussion on its continuance. Will a similar level of violent now become commonplace in young adult media?

5 Difficult Concepts Made Easier by Disney's "Inside Out"

Disney's "Inside Out" provides an accessible and memorable framework for understanding some rather complex ideas. Allow me to outline 5 difficult concepts this movie makes easier to explain.

Memory Doesn't Always Deceive

Psychology has some horrible experiments on its conscience - or ought to have.

Parenting Without Punishment: A Humanist Perspective, Part 2

Given the particular situation, children (like all the rest of us) are doing the best they’re capable of. So what are some ways that parents might effectively confront their child’s annoying, hazardous, or otherwise troublesome behavior—without, that is, having to punish them for it?

Inside Out—And Beyond

It could have been awful. A movie that teaches kids about emotions could have been dry and preachy. Instead, Pixar’s Inside Out is an exciting and compelling tour of inner life that’s grounded in science plus an authentic understanding of how kids feel. Here are three lessons about emotions from the movie--plus one more.

When Bipolar Disorder Moved Into the House

By Hara Estroff Marano on June 24, 2015 in Brainstorm
In this new film, a bipolar father learns to take care of his two daughters Or did they take care of him?

ART in ASD, Part One

Could imbalance in the autonomic nervous system explain the complexity and heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Could teaching kids and families affected by ASD skills in autonomic regulation broadly improve comfort and functioning? This is the first of three blog posts on our work at the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation at RIT.

Relational Reasoning Shows How Kids Think Without Thinking

By Garth Sundem on June 23, 2015 in Brain Trust
Study shows how young children intuit relationships that older children over-think and can't see.

Dylann Roof—Evil or Ill?

How to think about the Charleston killings and Dylann Roof

Delight, Cruelty and Young People

By Nick Luxmoore on June 23, 2015 in Young People Up Close
How can anyone delight in young people capable of doing terrible things?

The Psychological Effects of Shaming Children

Public shaming videos seem to be on an uptick, and the recent story of a teen girl’s apparent suicide after a public shaming incident is an extreme example. Whether or not this particular case was a one of a parent shaming his child, there are lessons for all parents on the psychological risks of using shame to change your child or teen's behavior.

Play, Common Core, and Early Reading Untangled

In a raging debate, leading researchers in reading education are speaking out in favor of keeping Common Core Kindergarten Literacy Standards. Their message? It’s perfectly fine for five year olds to play AND learn to read in school!

Love for a Killer: "A Very Evil Kid”

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on June 22, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
When Adam Lanza massacred school children, people asked about his genes. But that was the wrong question. Genes are inert without experience. Families of victims of Dylann Roof’s gun rampage forgave him. It’s a show of love that he probably needed much earlier in his life.

Shame Indicates Anxiety Disorders in Children

Which emotion is a bigger indicator of an anxiety disorder in children - guilt or shame?

Play-Acting for Real

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on June 21, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
In photos, Dylann Roof, who murdered 9 black churchgoers, reveals a child captured by heroic fantasies, and unexpectedly illuminates the fantasies in the air around him. We need to learn to recognize the cues.

“Two-ness:” the Mind’s Binary Code

The earliest roots of what is recognized as “envy” in later life emerge from the normal sense of “two-ness.” In Envy Theory, this "two-ness" is the mind's innate binary code: envy’s mode of operating. Modulating “two-ness” early in life decreases emotional dysregulation. From the healthy maturation of envy, admiration, emulation, gratitude, and empathy are born.

What "My Child Won't Cooperate!" Really Means

We often hear parents say, "My child won't do what I ask! He just won't cooperate!" Maybe it's because we are lying to ourselves about what we really want.

Inside Out: Emotional Intelligence Made (Maybe Too) Easy

This movie makes it fun to ponder emotional conflict, but it needs a sequel on the risk of using sadness as a way to get love. Til then, we can learn more about our inner conflicts from gorgeous graphics than boring buzzwords.

Parenting Without Punishment: A Humanist Perspective, Part 1

However exasperating a child’s behavior may be, it’s still—in most instances—age-appropriate. So when kids misbehave (according, that is, to grown-up standards), they’re prompted to do so primarily because of powerful forces in them they lack the cognitive development to control.

How to Plan Your Child's Summer "Work Week"

By Tamar Chansky Ph.D on June 19, 2015 in Worry Wise
The radical (to your child) idea is that you can do some work in the summer—whether that be pitching in around the house, or reviewing math facts— and still have a great summer. Don’t want to be the bearer of bad news? You’re not. You didn’t invent this. It’s called life. And it’s actually good for them—and you.