Child Development Essential Reads

Liar, Liar, Working Memory on Fire

Working Memory can make you a better liar, research shows

What Narcissists REALLY Want, and Can Never Get

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. . . .

Childhood Sexual Abuse Taken Out of Context

Child sexual abuse is a big risk factor for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. But why do some victims turn out one way, others a different way, and still others turn out without any disorders at all? So called empirical studies of child abuse are limited to such variables as who the perpetrators were, what did they do, and how often. There's a lot more to the story.

We Succeed by Our Failures

When we reflect on our childhood we tend to recall the tough times -- times when we as kids screwed up, or when our parents failed. It turns out that the dance between love and hate, doing right and doing wrong, and above all making amends is critical for secure attachments. We learn to trust other, indeed, we learn to be moral as part of a normal developmental process.

Adolescence and the Allure of the Internet

Today's parents must raise children in two worlds, offline and online, and for adolescents freedom on the Internet has a powerful allure.

Baby Crying? Don't Shame the Parents!

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
A medical doctor, also a parent, wrote to me recently to complain about my blog post, "'Dangers of Crying it Out.'" Here is (most of) my response.

The Archeology of Misbehavior

Archeology is the study of human activity in the past. The archeology of misbehavior is studying current behavior to uncover hidden sources. The “ruins” of misdeeds are built upon personality architecture and cultural landscapes.

I May Be a Jackass, But I Can Be Taught to Care

A jackass is an ornery animal. You can lead it to water, but you can't make it drink. Are kids the same way?

Is Your Childhood Wrecking Your Love Life?

By Peg Streep on July 21, 2015 in Tech Support
One of the legacies of childhood is how well or badly we connect to others, both in friendship as well as intimate settings. How your childhood experiences may shape your ability to love and be loved today, and how to understand and recognize patterns of insecure attachment.

Toward a More Civil Divorce

By Liza Long on July 16, 2015 in The Accidental Advocate
In a high-conflict divorce, both adults share the blame. But the adversarial family court system doesn't do much to help parents or their children. My thoughts as a mother on the three Michigan children sent to juvenile detention for refusing lunch with their father: it's just lunch.

Screening Out Screen Time

We've become addicted to our screens, obsessively checking email, chomping at the Twitter feed, and buried in Facebook. The disquiet many of us feel turns to downright worry when we see our children growing up screen-saturated. Research suggests this may have serious consequences for development.

Resilience: The Capacity to Rebuild and Grow from Adversity

Resilience is not a genetic trait. It is derived from the ways children learn to think and act when they are faced with obstacles, large and small. How do teachers cultivate resilience in the classroom?

Keeping Adolescents Mindful of Parental Needs

For parents who want their teenager to act mindful of their needs, training in this relatedness needs to start in childhood (when it is mostly welcome) and not put off to adolescence (when it is mostly not.)

Facebook-Self vs. True-Self: Presenting Contrived Happiness

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on July 10, 2015 in Screen Time
The need to have the false-self visible on a digital platform in an unusual trend in parents that has taken shape over the last several years.

Do Kids With ADHD Grow Into Adults With ADHD?

Most children with ADHD do not grow up to become adults with ADHD. Most adults with ADHD did not have ADHD as children. ADHD in youngsters and adults may really be two different illnesses that have similar symptoms.

K & Preschool Teachers: Last Stand in War on Childhood?

By Peter Gray on July 08, 2015 in Freedom to Learn
The war against childhood continues. Children are no longer generally free to roam, play, and explore on their own, as they were in the past and are designed by nature to do. Parents who allow such play are being arrested. Schools throughout the country have eliminated or greatly curtailed recesses. The last bastion in the battle to preserve childhood appears to be be....

Why Working Mothers Shouldn’t Feel Guilty

What do people really think about working mothers?

Relationships Cause Conduct Disorder, Not "Bad Seeds"

To paraphrase a certain politician, it's the relationships, stupid! In order to avoid looking at their own or their family's behavior, both parents and professionals seem to want to think that children can be born as "bad seeds." However, human genes do not work that specifically. It is not toxic people that create most dysfunctional families, but toxic relationships.

Is Coding Camp a Good Thing? Answer: Not to Me

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on July 07, 2015 in The Power of Prime
One of the booming trends in the 'youth-achievement-industrial complex' is computer coding camps (and after-school coding programs). I think this trend is driven by economic uncertainty that has created immense anxiety in parents for their children's futures. Also, a hyper-achievement culture in which parents feel compelled to 'keep up with the Joneses'.

5 Tips for the Parents of Teens Who Make Rudeness an Art

The topic of teens' social behaviors never seem to lose their popularity, but many recent reports suggest that teen rudeness is increasing. What can parents do to bring their adolescents' behavior back in line?

5 Tips for Taming Overly Wired and Overly Rude Teens

Rude teenagers may be simply practicing the skills their parents have allowed to take root. If a child grows up interacting in a private, virtual world more often than interacting one-on-one with family, a whole slew of social skills and social learning will be missed.

Why Are People with Disabilities the Targets of Violence?

Why do offenders target people with disabilities? Are there links between types of disability and type of victimization? The Data Doctor answers a question from the aunt of a former student.

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.

Physically Active Children Grow Up to Be Healthier Adults

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

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.

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.

“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 Will Your Children Remember About You?

Raising a child can be daunting. In the midst of the hectic effort to meet all our children’s needs, we might wonder what will make the most important difference in their lives. What will they remember best about their childhood experiences with us?

Healing Unloved Daughters and the Art of Kintsugi

By Peg Streep on June 17, 2015 in Tech Support
What do we mean when we speak of being healed? When it comes to getting past the influence of a bad childhood, is healing or becoming whole possible? Or even desirable?