Child Development Essential Reads

Causes of Students’ Emotional Fragility: Five Perspectives

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on November 25, 2015 Freedom to Learn
The high and apparently increasing rates of emotional disorders and problems of everyday living among college students have generated great concern on campuses throughout the nation. Here I present a sample of views expressed by K–12 teachers, professors, employers, parents, and students about the sources of students’ emotional and coping difficulties.

Looking to Our Past: Escapism or Exploration?

The past is gone, cannot be changed, and cannot return. Is revisiting it in memory a reluctance to live in the present?

Why Are Kids Sexting?

By Leonard Sax M.D., Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 Sax on Sex
Why do girls and boys send sexy photos? The answers for girls are different from the answers for boys.

Our Families: What's Missing?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 Living Single
In this guest post, sociologist Joshua Gamson takes a look at the beautifully produced Tylenol ads celebrating family diversity, and explores what's missing or hidden.

Chimpanzees Pass the Marshmallow Test

By David Ludden Ph.D. on November 13, 2015 Talking Apes
Over the last few decades, research has shown that our primate cousins are much closer to us in mental capacities than we’d previously thought.

Does Fairness Depend on Kindness or Justice?

By Garth Sundem on November 11, 2015 Brain Trust
Imagine you have to split a plate of cookies. Does the person who baked the cookies get the most or do you split them evenly?

The Dark Side of Parenting: The Cause of Bitter Parents

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on November 06, 2015 Insight Is 20/20
Parenting for some is a pleasant and heartwarming experience overall. For other parents, however, parenting has caused them to feel overwhelmed and bitter. What causes bitterness in parents? A few simple factors make a major difference.

Teach Your Children to Lie

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on October 30, 2015 Mental Mishaps
Lying is an incredibly important skill. But lying is pretty tricky and depends on a basic cognitive capability that young children lack and need to develop. You may have to teach your children how to lie effectively.

Helicopter Parenting & College Students’ Increased Neediness

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on October 23, 2015 Freedom to Learn
College counseling services report increases in emotional fragility and decreases in self-efficacy in college students over recent years. What is the evidence that these changes may be the result of a rise in over-protective, over-controlling, intrusive (helicopter) parenting?

How to Talk to Children About Divorce

By Suzanne Gelb Ph.D., J.D. on October 22, 2015 All Grown Up
Dreading talking to your children about divorce? Here are some general guidelines and scripts on how to approach this sensitive topic, listen, and give children the reassurance that they need.

3 Musical Ways to Influence a Child's Emotions

One of the most common ways we consume music is to shift our emotional state. This little trick works with children, too.

The Case for Transgender-Affirming School Policies

How can we make schools more inclusive of transgender students? Why policies matter.

The Death of Munchausen by Proxy

It's time for the term Munchausen by proxy to die a timely death in terms of its use in medical child abuse allegations and for investigators to focus on the impact on the child rather than the intent of the parent.

A Workover: She Has a Smart but Unfocused Adult Son

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 20, 2015 How To Do Life
What, if anything, should a parent do when her young adult child is a dabbler?

Lucky to Be Here at All

Sometimes thinking about ancestral conditions that necessarily existed for the lion's share of human evolutionary history helps us put modern issues into perspective.

Violent Media Creates Couch Potatoes, Not Violent Youth

How many times have readers read stories about how violent video games and movies are causing more youth violence? Youth violence has in fact fallen as media has become more violent. Many studies only measure short-term aggressive thoughts after watching these things, not actions. In fact, most kids who watch a lot of violent media are couch potatoes, not gang bangers.

When Your College Freshman Gets Homesick

That first step in the last stage of adolescence, Trial Independence (18-13), moving out from home for job or college, can be harder to take than the young person anticipated. The separation feels hard because the familiarity and comforts of home are sincerely missed.

How Do Academic Prodigies Spend Their Time?

Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes a decade of intense practice – roughly 10,000 hours – to achieve mastery in any field. So, how does this apply to gifted students? Do gifted students from different countries actually invest their time differently in accruing those 10,000 hours needed to become masters of their field?

Where Did Colleges Go Wrong?

By Hara Estroff Marano on October 14, 2015 Nation of Wimps
'Puppy days' and trigger warnings exemplify how colleges are increasingly in the business of infantilizing students rather than developing them.

Bang, Bang, You're Alive

By Bernard L. De Koven on October 14, 2015 On Having Fun
Playing dead they learn how long death really is. Shooting toy guns, they begin to understand the ultimate fiction of power.

Is the American Academy of Pediatrics Copping Out on Screens

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 13, 2015 The Power of Prime
Increasing the limits allowed for kids’ screen time or not offering time limits at all, either of which seem to be directions that the AAP is considering, flies in face of the fact that kids these days are already way out of balance in their use of technology.

Is Autism a Mental Illness?

The recent tragedy in Oregon has renewed controversy about what autism really is or isn’t. While often well intentioned, this debate is based on shaky scientific ground and may actually be making stigma worse.

"Is Adolescence Really Necessary?"

In their disenchantment with some early adolescent changes in their child, parents wonder if this transformation really need be? The answer is: Yes, so the process of redefinition for growing up can get underway.

Here is a Powerful Acronym to Help Your Child Manage Stress!

Kids do better in life when they learn how to calm down and solve problems! Borrowing from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) the word "ACCEPTS" provides prompts for valuable coping skills for children, teens, and adults to handle stress. To help your child or teen better deal with stress, take a look at the power of the 7 skills embodied in "ACCEPTS"

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.