Child Development Essential Reads

Biological Foundations for Self-Directed Education

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Freedom to Learn
Self-directed education—as it occurs in unschooling families and at democratic schools--operates by allowing these four natural drives to flourish. ....

How An Art Break Helps Kids Learn

By Darby Saxbe Ph.D. on September 27, 2016 in Home Base
Integrating play and creativity into the school day may help children learn. Here's an innovative school counseling program that did just that.

The Bonus Effect

By Alfie Kohn on September 27, 2016 in The Homework Myth
If you're told "Do this, and you'll get that," you're likely to become less interested in "this" -- and more interested in "that." Especially if "that" turns out to be money.

Will Your Gamer Survive College?

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on September 26, 2016 in Mental Wealth
If you're concerned about your son's video game habits spinning out of control when he goes to college, you're right to be worried—but here's what parents can do.
Ken Ginsburg

I Do Not Have an “Empty Nest,” My Children Are “In Flight”

Are you in mourning because your child is growing up? Are you wondering what life looks like after your teen leaves home? Let's celebrate both independence and interdependence.

Social Skills 101: Test and Improve Your Niceness Quotient

Social skills are such a key part of life that most of us rarely give them conscious thought. New research provides a tool to help you evaluate yours.

Suicide in Children — What Every Parent Must Know

Only about one-third of children or young adolescents who died from suicide told anyone that they intended to kill themselves. Do you know the risk factors?

The Importance of Family Dinnertime: Part One

By Robyn Fivush Ph.D. on September 23, 2016 in The Stories of Our Lives
Families that eat dinner together have adolescents who do better, and family storytelling is part of the reason why.

Kids Learn That Robots Are Not Just Things

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 19, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
One of the most complicated tasks children have to perform is learning about the types of objects in their world. Robots are a particularly complicated kind of object.
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

Adolescence and Four Skills of Self-Discipline

Developing self-discipline is part of growing independence as one develops the capacity to become one's own authority when it comes to accomplishing what one needs to do.
SergiyN/Shutterstock

How Much Homework Is Too Much? How Can Parents Push Back?

The10-minute homework rule begins at age six, but younger children are being asked to do more. Parents can be effective advocates for the best long-term developmental outcomes.

Helping Your Child Learn How to Fall Asleep

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on September 15, 2016 in Once Upon a Child
Few lessons matter more to your child’s well-being.

How to Be a More Authentic Parent

By Stephen Joseph Ph.D. on September 11, 2016 in What Doesn't Kill Us
Authentic parenting is hard and no one gets it right all of the time. Here are three things that you might try to make it easier.

Why Do British Accents Sound Intelligent to Americans?

By Kevin Bennett on September 09, 2016 in Modern Minds
My American baby is speaking British! Is it still acceptable to discriminate based on accent?

The Experimental Parent

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 09, 2016 in How To Do Life
The Eminents Interview: T. Berry Brazelton

Do Our Expectations of Kids Aim Too High or Too Low?

By Alfie Kohn on September 06, 2016 in The Homework Myth
Traditional approaches to raising and teaching kids don't give them credit for what they can do - and yet, at the same time, fail to acknowledge their developmental limits
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

Puberty and Preoccupation With Personal Appearance

Puberty creates all kinds of pressures and worries about how one's changing body is going to turn out, and how one will be treated based on one's looks.

Madness and Guns

By Lawrence D. Blum M.D. on September 04, 2016 in Beyond Freud
The ability to control anger, and to distinguish fantasy from reality, are difficult tasks to master. What does this mean for access to weapons?

So What If You’re Not Securely Attached?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on September 02, 2016 in Talking Apes
Psychologists have long treated people with insecure attachment as deviant. But those with anxious and avoidant relationship styles play important roles in human societies.

Yes, Overprotective Parenting Harms Kids

By Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. on August 28, 2016 in Beastly Behavior
Overprotective parenting may cause more than just stunted psychological development; it may actually be bad for children's health.

Easing a Child’s Summer to School Transition

School is right around the corner but your child is still sleeping until noon and moving in slow motion. Here are some suggestions to help get them ready for the new year.

To Bribe or Not to Bribe

Reading incentive programs, where students get points or prizes, and sometimes even grades, for reading “fun” books, are a ubiquitous feature of many literacy programs.

Professional Misunderstanding of Parental Alienation

Until professionals attain an in-depth understanding of the actual dynamics of parental alienation, cases of severe alienation will continue to be discounted.

Video Games Stronger Than Morphine: U.S. Military

The U.S. military discovered that playing video games can be more effective than morphine in treating combat burn veterans—so what is this digital morphine doing to kids' brains?

Kids, Chimps, and Cooperation

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 23, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
People are pretty good at sharing when they are cooperating. When does that ability develop? Is it uniquely human?

Talking About the Past With Your Child Builds Resilience

By inviting, validating, helping and supporting your child to construct coherent narratives, you teach skills for regulating emotions and building resilience.
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

The Changing Reputation of Parents With Their Adolescent

It can be hard for parents to lose their positive reputation with the child to the more negative reputation with the adolescent.

Alison Gopnik’s Advice to Parents: Stop Parenting!

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in Freedom to Learn
Everything Professor Gopnik says in The Gardener and the Carpenter indicates that our schooling system is very very wrong. So why does she point her finger at parents, not schools?

Can You Learn a Second Language After Childhood?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in Talking Apes
While it’s true that that it’s easier to learn a language when you’re young, adults can still learn languages with the right motivation.

When Sibling Rivalry Goes Awry

You may remember the days in the not so distant past when you were the envy of friends and family. “Your kids get along so well,” they would gush.