Child Development Essential Reads

Unnaturally Good: The Plight of the Goody Two-Shoes

There’s authentic virtue, and then there’s a kind of chronic, not-quite-credible virtue that doesn’t—and can’t—reflect the individual’s true nature. Their righteous words and actions, though perceivable as virtuous, may not come from their heart but their head. And what they say may belie what they’re really thinking—may not, in essence, “capture” who they truly are.

Should You Make Choices for Your Kids?

Parents need to be concerned about the choices their kids make. The quality of your presence and support as your child explores and sorts through the options establishes the basis for his and her confident and solid decision-making when he and she are on their own.

The Bourgeois Revolution

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 23, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Many of our most powerful fantasies and expectations about marriage and family life emerged two centuries ago.

Whatever Doesn't Kill You, Will Only Make You Stronger?

By Dawn C. Carr MGS, Ph.D. on March 20, 2015 in The Third Age
When bad stuff happens to resilient people, it appears that in the short-term they don’t do anything different from what nonresilient people do. Instead, they feel something different about their ability to handle things. And as a result, they fare better physically and psychologically over the long-term.

Praising Kids for Unimpressive Accomplishments

Overvaluing your kids accomplishments may result in self-centeredness and low achievement.

Should I Keep My Firstborn an Only Child?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on March 19, 2015 in Singletons
In terms of the level of education, aspirations and achievement, firstborns and only children excel. Of the 12 men who walked on the moon, all were firstborns or only children. What gives firstborns and only children this distinct advantage?

Children Who Kill Are Often Victims Too

Children who murder have often been severely abused or neglected and have experienced a tumultuous home life

Why Childhood Stress Crimps Academic Performance

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 18, 2015 in The Human Beast
Animals from an environment full of risk remain vigilant and avoid exploring their surroundings. This promotes survival but has the indirect consequence of reducing their cognitive ability. A similar pattern applies to humans and shows up as academic under performance.

No, There Is no Such Thing as ADHD

Understanding the interplay of temperament and trauma reveals the fiction of ADHD.

Yes, You Can Raise Happy Children After Divorce

By Wendy Paris on March 17, 2015 in Splitopia
Intuitively, we feel that children should be raised by two married parents living together. But an avalanche of studies over the past 40 years shows that this isn’t what they need. Research shows that about 80-percent of children of divorce adapt well and see no lasting negative effects on their grades, social adjustment, or mental health. So what do kids need?

Why the Story of Cinderella Still Enchants

By Peg Streep on March 17, 2015 in Tech Support
Does the world really need another Cinderella movie? Well, maybe it does. A look at what fairy tales teach us and our children.

Close Encounters with Criminal Minds

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 15, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
During the late 19th century a pathologist-turned-criminologist founded the technique of criminal autobiographies; from within the stories came deep truths.

Comforting Third Spaces

The best third spaces are green spaces.

Parents: Three Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids

By Suzanne Gelb Ph.D., J.D. on March 12, 2015 in All Grown Up
It’s never too early to teach children the right way to behave in the world. The sooner you get started, the better. But it’s also never too late to help your kids “un-learn” negative lessons and make significant improvements.

Do Sex Surveys Pose Any Risk of Harm to Participants?

Surveying college students about their sex lives is often presumed to pose risks to participants, such as psychological distress. However, research finds that sex surveys appear to hold no more potential for harm than general psychological tests.

Excuse-making by School Children

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on March 11, 2015 in Memory Medic
A sense of self-efficacy has to be earned. It does not come from excuses.

The Ambiguities of Progress

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on March 11, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Rather than thinking about change in terms of progress or decline, it is better to focus on trade-offs.

Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: Misinformation & Abuse

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 11, 2015 in Animal Emotions
According to Dr. Chris Palmer's book called "Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker," the state of wildlife filmmaking worsens every year. He argues it’s time for wildlife filmmaking to move in a more ethical direction. Broadcasters such Animal Planet, Discovery, National Geographic, and the History Channel must do better. And viewers can play a role in making this happen.

How NOT to Raise a Narcissist

Narcissism is more than believing “I’m great!”; it’s believing “I’m better and more important than you!” Here's how NOT to raise a narcissistic child.

Recess Is Endangered

High stakes testing, fear of litigation, budget crunches, and just plain ignorance are reducing and even eliminating recess for children. Yet a wealth of research establishes the benefits of recess for academic achievement, physical development, healthy weight, and social competence. It's time to make sure recess is an educational right for all children.

Re-clarifying Terms of Conduct at the Start of Adolescence

It is natural, and normal, and healthy for the beginning adolescent to test to what degree the old family demands and constraints of childhood still apply. It is natural, and normal, and healthy for parents to respond in the interests of the young person's safety and responsibility.

Tomas Tranströmer’s Avocational Polymathy

Scratch beneath the surface of just about any successful career in science, art, or human affairs and you’re sure to find wide-ranging interests. We’ve been scratching through the memoirs and biographies of Nobel Prize winners. No surprise, avocational polmathy, aka the several-hats tactic, turns up time and again. Tomas Tranströmer provides a case in point.

5 Reasons You Should Never 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...