Child Development Essential Reads

Dogs Avoid People Who Are Not Cooperative with Their Owners

New data shows that dogs, like young human children, continually watch the social interactions going on around them and use information from what they observe to decide who to avoid in the future.

Humor, Screens & Children

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on August 18, 2015 in Screen Time
A sense of humor can lend itself as a protective factor for troubled or uncertain situations one may have through life’s journey. Included in this piece are some ways to think about humor development as applied to current children’s television programming from birth to elementary school years.

Do You Have Trouble With Intimacy? If So, You're Not Alone

By Peg Streep on August 18, 2015 in Tech Support
What constitutes emotional closeness? Well, it all depends on your needs, desire, and capacity. Looking at matches and mismatches in friendship and love and why intimacy can be so darn elusive.

9 Ways To Improve Your Child’s Chances For Success

Many new parents may be too busy to realize it, but Tovah Klein of Columbia University argues that “the ages from two to five are crucial for your child’s long-term healthy development and success—for laying the foundation of who they will become over time.” Here are 9 ways to improve your child's chances for success from "the toddler whisperer."

How Detachment Changes Both Adolescent and Parents

Adolescence alters the child, the parent in response, and the relationship between them. Adolescence changes everyone.

7 Ways Childhood Adversity Changes Your Brain

If you’ve ever wondered why you’ve been struggling a little too hard for a little too long with chronic emotional and physical health conditions that just won’t abate, feeling as if you’ve been swimming against some invisible current that never ceases, a new field of scientific research may offer you hope, answers, and healing insights.

What Happens to Children with Behavioral Disorders?

Children with common behavioral disorders can have compromised abilities in everyday functioning when they become young adults. Adult function may be compromised even in those children who outgrow clinical childhood symptoms and syndromes.

Twins Reared Apart: Documentary Films and More

By Nancy L Segal Ph.D. on August 04, 2015 in Twofold
Twins reared apart tell us a lot about where our behaviors come from!

Life and the Essence of Adolescence

By Daniel J. Siegel M.D. on August 03, 2015 in Inspire to Rewire
During a summer vacation on a lake in Wisconsin, I look at my son and daughter, my nieces and nephews, and soak it all in. Life is a passing of these moments, I know, ones we cannot hold onto. A startling discovery of exploring this important adolescent period of life is that the ESSENCE of adolescence is also the key way to keep our brains vital and growing.

Yet Another Reason Why It’s Good to Be a First-Born Child

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on July 31, 2015 in Social Instincts
New research finds that eldest siblings are better at picking up second languages.

Liar, Liar, Working Memory on Fire

Working Memory can make you a better liar, research shows

What Really Makes Narcissists Tick?

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.

What We Really Needed From Our Parents

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?