Essential Reads

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

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 Narcissists REALLY Want, and Can Never Get

What narcissists long for is worlds apart from what they actually pursue.

Childhood Sexual Abuse Taken Out of Context

What goes on when the abuse is NOT happening is often just as important

Recent Posts on Child Development

What Your Doctor Can't Say to You

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on July 31, 2015 in Am I Right?
This conversation can cause a healthcare provider to lose her license.

I Used to Be Such a Good Teacher...

Delivering a lecture is easy. Teaching is hard.

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.

7 Ways Your Childhood Affects How You Parent

Attachment research tells us that the biggest predictor of how we will be as parents is how much we’ve been able to make sense out of our own past. So, while the last place we may be looking when we become parents is at our own childhood, that’s exactly what we should be doing if we want to be better present-day parents to our children.

Affects, Language, and Cognition

For many months, we have been exploring the three pillars of human development: Affects (Feelings), Language, and Cognition. We have tried to make the case that there is a revolution in our understanding of human development. I have suggested that this revolution has tremendous potential for enhancing development.

Liar, Liar, Working Memory on Fire

Working Memory can make you a better liar, research shows

Self-Harm Websites and Teens Who Visit Them

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in Connected
A very small percent of youth visit websites about self-harm. But on the Internet, followings on one self-harm site can number in the thousands. Are these sites harmful for youth who visit them, or do they provide some social support?

Does Your Child Need To See A Psychologist?

By Mack R. Hicks Ph.D. on July 28, 2015 in Digital Pandemic
The idea that all children are pretty much the same is a great American Myth. Teachers need to discover their students' learning styles and personalities.

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.

Music Training Improves Adolescent Brain Development

Music training during adolescence helps the teenage brain hone skills necessary for academic and life success.

Positive Psychology of Mindfulness

When students call out "Present', make sure they know what it means. So what does "Present" really mean? It does not just mean "here" - it means here in the moment and mindfully in touch with the learning.

Inside Out Movie Focuses on the Importance of Emotions

By Kate Roberts Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Savvy Parenting
Disney's Pixar Inside Out movie teaches through entertainment, the importance of processing and understanding a child's emotions.

A Second Look at Helicopter Parenting

By Kyle D. Pruett M.D. on July 27, 2015 in Once Upon a Child
When I first heard the term ‘helicopter parenting’ some 30 years ago, I thought ‘hmm- clever, but ouch’, and filed it under ‘probably not helpful’ in my memory.

I Hate Multiple Choice

What do multiple choice tests measure? Is that what we want to know?

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.

Summer Camp and Disruptive Moments

By Steve Baskin on July 26, 2015 in S'mores and More
Former summer campers often describe their experiences as "life changing", despite the fact that they spend far less time at camp than home or school. This article discusses one reason that camps have a disproportionate impact on the children they serve.

Puns and the Aging Process

By Richard Smith Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in Joy and Pain
The question of what makes a good pun depends on the age of the punster and the expectations associated with age. There is lesson in this for all inveterate punsters as they "mature."

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.

47 Reasons Why It's Really, Really Good to Be an Aunt

By Melanie Notkin on July 24, 2015 in Savvy Auntie
Every aunt knows how fortunate we are to have the love of our nieces and nephews. And we are grateful to their parents, who have given us the gift of aunthood. And so, Auntie's Day is also a time for us to appreciate all really good things that aunthood brings...

Stories of Seclusion: A Child Who Couldn't Resist the Swamp

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 24, 2015 in How To Do Life
Hasn't every child wondered what it woulld be like to leave home for the wilds?

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?

Finding My Daughter Again Through the Outdoors

I think much parenting anxiety centers around how the kids will turn out and whether the choices you made will impact them in good ways or not so good ways. You wonder how you’ll feel about them as people, too, whether you’ll like who they become as adults. You know you’ll love them, but will you like them?

Can Oxytocin Fortify Resilience Against Childhood Adversity?

A new study from Emory University reports that manipulating the oxytocin system has the potential to fortify a person's resilience against childhood adversity, abuse, or neglect.

Spanking Makes Kids More Aggressive

By Temma Ehrenfeld on July 22, 2015 in Open Gently
Monkey see, monkey do. Kids who are spanked are more likely to hit.

7 Key Signs of a Lying Child or Teenager

Psychologist Adrian Furnham identified a variety of ways to detect whether an individual may be dishonest. We can apply some of the tips to communication situations with young persons. Here are seven ways to tell if a child or teenager might be lying to you...

Why Can Domestic Violence Get Passed From Parent to Child?

It can be hard to understand why a child who is exposed to domestic violence might go on to experience violence in later adult relationships.

Who Makes a Qualified Children’s Media Researcher?

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on July 21, 2015 in Screen Time
Thoughts related to research training within the field of children's media.