Child Development Essential Reads

Don’t Give Up. Don’t Ever Give Up.

When a cancer-ridden Jimmy Valvano told the world, "Don't give up; don't ever give up" at his famous ESPY speech of 1993, he had a tremendously important message for all of us. When failure and rejection strike in your life, don't retreat; Jim Valvano never did. Instead, look failure and rejection in the eye, and use these experiences to energize your future successes.

Theo Fleury Is Teaching Us How to Heal

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Former professional hockey player Theo Fleury is no stranger to confrontation, both on and off the ice. In 2009, he bravely and publicly confronted a very personal issue—sexual abuse and alcoholism. He explains how communication is pertinent to well-being, and even though the road ahead may not be easy, he truly believes that people can learn to heal.

Midlife: Adult's Prime

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 02, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Why middle age truly is the prime of life.

Having a Baby: When You Don't Agree

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on February 26, 2015 in Fixing Families
Being on different pages about having children can be a major relationship roadblock. The key is uncovering the problem under the problem -- some likely suspects.

Four Reasons to Worry About "Personalized Learning"

By Alfie Kohn on February 24, 2015 in The Homework Myth
When kids create their own meaningful projects, the learning is personal. When kids are fed prefabricated skills and constantly tested (via computer), the learning is "personalized." The latter is profitable for corporations, but not so great for our children.

Malignant Narcissism and the Murder of a Parent

By Carrie Barron M.D. on February 24, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
This blog explores Malignant Narcissism and the damaging impact that it can have on family members and others.

Traveling Through Time

By Dr. Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Trouble in Mind
Our ability to mentally travel back and forward in time gives us our sense of self and enhances our lives and coping abilities in many ways.

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

An Ode to Common Core Kindergarten Standards

There is much wrong with American kindergartens—but Common Core State Standards are not to blame. If interpreted correctly, Common Core standards for literacy enable us to help enhance the kindergarten experience for all kindergarten children—from the underprepared to the most gifted and advanced.

Pressure at the Academy Awards

By Hendrie Weisinger on February 18, 2015 in Thicken Your Skin
Most people perform below their capability in a pressure moment.

Lifestyle Interventions for Depression

Clinical depression is a complicated condition. Stress of course is known and easily accepted to be the main cause, but two people may endure the same stress with only one developing depression. What lifestyle factors can make us more resilient, and why?

Are Your Boundaries Making You Miserable?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Sure, you need boundaries. And undeniably, you have the right to assert them—whether to safeguard your privacy, self-respect, or basic sense of decency. So it’s crucial to develop the ability and self-confidence to say no, or to tell others to stop doing what they’re doing. But what also needs to be emphasized is that some of your boundaries may be holding you hostage. . .

4 Relationship Myths, Debunked

A lot of love advice out there is nothing more than myths and urban legends. If you are an experienced myth buster, go solve some puzzles on Mensa's math site. If not, continue reading.

The Risks of Not Choosing to Vaccinate

A number of parents make the decision not to vaccinate their children. While parents clearly have the right to choose the kinds of medical care for their children, are the risks for other children and, indeed, the world worth it? The key question is the balance between individual rights and what is in the best interests of society.

Why You Might Find It Harder to Make New Friends

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on February 09, 2015 in Good Thinking
Every seven years we lose about half of our close network of friends and replace them with others. Here's how it's done.

Adolescence and Seeing What Can Be Gotten Away With

Growing up, adolescents sometimes test themselves by testing dangerous risks, family requirements, and social rules to see how much freedom they can get away with.

The Vaccine Controversy: Through an Evolutionary Lens

In recent weeks, non-vaccinating parents have been blamed for being ignorant, stupid, or worse. But calling someone stupid does not seem like an effective way of getting parents to agree to do something that they believe might harm their child. Another way to look at parents’ fears about the risks of vaccinating is to look at decision making through an evolutionary lens.

How to Use All 5 Senses to Beat Stress

By Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. on February 04, 2015 in Head Games
With the hassles of everyday life, it's easy for a bad day to take a downward spiral. Studies show that you can feel better by engaging the five senses. Here are five research-backed ways to de-stress and connect more deeply to your senses.

Treating Parents Helps Kids

By David Rettew M.D. on February 04, 2015 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
There is mounting evidence that mental health problems can run in families and that treating parents can improve child behavior. Putting this knowledge into practice, however, has been slow.

Adolescence and What Is Enough

Adolescence by it's very nature is an age of discontent where deciding what is "enough" in many facets of one's life can be very hard to do.

What Motivates People to Make Healthier Lifestyle Choices?

By Christopher Bergland on January 30, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
A Cornell University study released yesterday offers new insights that can help you create a personalized inner-dialogue and messaging strategy that will motivate you to make healthier lifestyle choices every day.

Shame and Motivation to Change

By Lisa Rivero M.A. on January 29, 2015 in Creative Synthesis
We know the feeling only too well: Our pulse quickens. Our faces flush. The feeling is so bad that we want to escape at all costs. But is shame always bad?

6 Ways to Recreate, Not Just Salvage, Your Relationship

In my previous post, I emphasized that merely "salvaging" a relationship can’t lead to meaningful, long-lasting couples’ change. The main problem with such rescuing is that it focuses mostly on reducing the negatives between the two beleaguered partners. What’s really needed is for them to identify—and effectively address—the deeper dynamics of their relational distress.

The Mutual Disaffection of Parenting an Adolescent

Compared with the mutual admiration society that tends to characterize the parent/child relationship, the parent/adolescent relationship can sometimes seem like a mutual irritation society as separation, differentiation, and opposition between them (all for growing independence) becomes more common, and necessarily so.

Writing and Art, Picasso, and the Common Core

What would Picasso have to say about Common Core State Standards now driving the curriculum—and leaving art behind—in over 40 states? As it turns out, both Picasso and psychological studies support a call for cross-disciplinary connections at all levels of education.

9 Ways Your Old Programming May Be Holding You Hostage

When I speak of “old programs,” I’m referring to childhood decisions you made to better adapt to a conditionally accepting family. After all, when you’re highly dependent on your caretakers for comfort, guidance, and support, what could be more essential than feeling securely bonded to them? For you certainly can't function autonomously. . . .

The World's Worst Mom

By Lybi Ma on January 21, 2015 in Brainstorm
Parents really don't have to hover as much as they think. A Q&A with the World's Worst Mom, Lenore Skenazy.

How to Have a Well-Behaved Child, Part 3

By Kenneth Barish Ph.D. on January 19, 2015 in Pride and Joy
Self-regulation, especially in childhood, is not learned well from consequences or punishment. The threat of punishment has its place, but it is a small part of learning discipline and self-control.

Healing the Shame of Childhood Abuse Through Self-Compassion

Shame can be the most damaging effect of child abuse--compassion is its anecdote.

Ten Things You Need to Know about Campus Sexual Assault

Sexaul assault on campus is common--far more common than many people imagine.