Child Development Essential Reads

The Back-to-School-Night Speech We'd Like to Hear*

By Alfie Kohn on October 03, 2015 The Homework Myth
Sit in a school auditorium listening to a list of rules and procedures, on the one hand, and numbing banalities about how "all children can learn," on the other hand -- and dream of a presentation that gets to the heart of what schooling could be like if kids (and learning) really mattered most...

Why Does Misinformation Continue to Affect Thinking?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on October 01, 2015 Ulterior Motives
Vaccination for childhood diseases like Measles and Whooping Cough was one of the most significant public health victories of the second half of the 20th century. When I was in elementary school in the 1970s, these diseases had been relegated to the past.

Welcome to the Dollhouse

By Susan Scheftel Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Evolving Minds
Dollhouses seem to provide a perfect venue for little children to work out big ideas. They are a must-have for all those working with children of both genders.

Dangerous Daydreams

What do future serial killers think about before they kill someone? In the beginning, not much more than many traumatized children.

Please Stop Whitewashing Autism

By Amy S.F. Lutz on September 28, 2015 Inspectrum
Steve Silberman's new book NeuroTribes is just the latest media account to recast autism as a "gift." These Facebook posts reveal, however, that the disorder can also be profoundly disabling. As we set research and policy agendas regarding treatment, education, housing and employment for autistic children and adults, we cannot forget about the most severely impaired.

Kids, Screens and Play: Solutions to a Common Problem

By Kenneth Barish Ph.D. on September 28, 2015 Pride and Joy
Recent research on kids and screens is alarming. Almost everyone now agrees that parents should establish rules and limits with regard to the amount of time kids spend in front of screens. It matters, however, how we do this.

5 Reasons Why Poverty Reduces Self-Control

Bad choices can certainly be a factor in poverty. But just because someone makes bad choices doesn’t mean they lack virtue or have no self-control.

Seven Shifts as Generation Y Becomes Generation Z

By Tim Elmore on September 21, 2015 Artificial Maturity
As we work with students, we’ve discovered these young teens are showing signs of a “morph,” shifting away from old realities and into new ones. Here’s what we’ve found*:

How to Tell the Kids You’re Getting Divorced

Divorcing parents meet with me because they worry terribly about the effect that learning of divorce will have on their kids. They want to know the specifics, of course, such as when is a good time to tell, who should do the telling, and what should be said. But beneath those practical inquiries lies the real reason for the session – will my child be okay?

Is Spanking Bad for Children and Families?

By Rebecca Coffey on September 09, 2015 The Bejeezus Out of Me
Since 1997 studies have consistently shown that spanking doesn’t have much of a positive effect on behavior. Meanwhile, it can harm parent-child communication and can lead a child into patterns of anxiety and aggression. So why do so many of us do it? What "no harm" and "good for them in the long run" myths have we bought into?

The Nature Imperative

Children as they grow are developing a moral code that expresses concern about and commitment to conservation, habitat protection, and animal welfare. We can learn a lot from children's thinking about nature and the environment.

Integrity in the Classroom

How do children learn to be honest, respect societal norms, and act in ways consistent with the values, beliefs, and moral principles they claim to hold? How do teachers instill and reinforce a code of ethics in their classrooms when evidence suggests high-stakes testing fosters a culture of dishonesty?

5 Questions Better Than "How Was Your Day?"

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on September 08, 2015 Friendship 2.0
Kids worldwide are back at school-- and parents are eager to hear how it's going. If your child seems to stall out at "Fine" when asked how his or her day went, these five questions can set the stage for a more interesting discussion.

Venus v. Serena Williams: Reflecting on Sibling Relationship

By Peg Streep on September 08, 2015 Tech Support
What a tennis competition between sisters can teach us all about this most extended of family relationships...

How Detachment from Childhood Begets Adolescent Boredom

Just because early adolescent boredom is common, doesn't make it okay. Parents need to keep a mindful eye on how long it lasts, how the young person is coping with it, and what they might do to help.

Waving Sadly and Yet Joyfully Goodbye

By Michael W Corrigan Ed.D. on September 01, 2015 Kids Being Kids
My wife started back to work fulltime. After admirably serving seven years in the trenches of child warfare on the not so tropical resort island known as Imagonna Pullmyhairout, she joined the ranks of the millions who deserve to be awarded a “Stay at Home Mom” Medal of Honor. As a recovering Mr. Mom, this blog is dedicated to all of you Stay at Home Parents.

What If the Diagnosis of Autism Is Wrong?

How does this happen? There are many neuropsychologists who are excellent and take time to evaluate a child. Sometimes, children do not perform well because they are afraid of the unfamiliar adult or the testing tasks and environment. Sometimes, at a young age, particularly in cases of a language delay, the child doesn’t understand the intent of the question.

For the Sake of the Children

Many people in unhappy or conflicted marriages stay together for the purported sake of the children. This article examines this premise and explores what's really best for our children.

Dogs Avoid People Who Are Not Cooperative with Their Owners

New data shows that dogs, like young human children, continually watch the social interactions going on around them and use information from what they observe to decide who to avoid in the future.

Humor, Screens & Children

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on August 18, 2015 Screen Time
A sense of humor can lend itself as a protective factor for troubled or uncertain situations one may have through life’s journey. Included in this piece are some ways to think about humor development as applied to current children’s television programming from birth to elementary school years.

Do You Have Trouble With Intimacy? If So, You're Not Alone

By Peg Streep on August 18, 2015 Tech Support
What constitutes emotional closeness? Well, it all depends on your needs, desire, and capacity. Looking at matches and mismatches in friendship and love and why intimacy can be so darn elusive.

9 Ways To Improve Your Child’s Chances For Success

Many new parents may be too busy to realize it, but Tovah Klein of Columbia University argues that “the ages from two to five are crucial for your child’s long-term healthy development and success—for laying the foundation of who they will become over time.” Here are 9 ways to improve your child's chances for success from "the toddler whisperer."

How Detachment Changes Both Adolescent and Parents

Adolescence alters the child, the parent in response, and the relationship between them. Adolescence changes everyone.

7 Ways Childhood Adversity Changes Your Brain

If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve been struggling a little too hard for a little too long with chronic emotional and physical health conditions that just won’t abate, feeling as if you’ve been swimming against some invisible current that never ceases, a new field of scientific research may offer you hope, answers, and healing insights.

What Happens to Children with Behavioral Disorders?

Children with common behavioral disorders can have compromised abilities in everyday functioning when they become young adults. Adult function may be compromised even in those children who outgrow clinical childhood symptoms and syndromes.

Twins Reared Apart: Documentary Films and More

By Nancy L Segal Ph.D. on August 04, 2015 Twofold
Twins reared apart tell us a lot about where our behaviors come from!

Life and the Essence of Adolescence

During a summer vacation on a lake in Wisconsin, I look at my son and daughter, my nieces and nephews, and soak it all in. Life is a passing of these moments, I know, ones we cannot hold onto. A startling discovery of exploring this important adolescent period of life is that the ESSENCE of adolescence is also the key way to keep our brains vital and growing.

Yet Another Reason Why It’s Good to Be a First-Born Child

New research finds that eldest siblings are better at picking up second languages.

Liar, Liar, Working Memory on Fire

Working Memory can make you a better liar, research shows

What Really Makes Narcissists Tick?

Among other things, narcissists typically come across as arrogant, manipulative, entitled, and woefully lacking in empathy. But if these defining features are understood at a deeper level—as powerful psychological defenses to protect them from experiencing a truly frightening vulnerability—a quite different picture of them emerges. . . .