Essential Reads

A Quick, Easy Technique to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

Changing your perspective can change your behavior in parenting power struggles

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

Stars, Bars, and Embryos

Confederate flag and genetic testing issues are more alike than one might think

Recent Posts on Parenting

Embracing the Role of Aunt For the Holidays

By Pamela Madsen on December 24, 2012 in Shameless Woman
Have you ever considered the importance of your presence in the life of a child without actually being that’s child’s mother? What if we didn’t run from the role Aunt (whether it is a biological connection or the child of a best friend), while we are trying to conceive and instead embraced it? Is that possible?

Adolescence and Coming Home for Christmas

Christmas can be a healing holiday when old griefs and grievances between parents and adolescent are finally let go.

Shootings, Stigma, and the Myth of Safety

By Lynne Soraya on December 23, 2012 in Asperger's Diary
The holiday season is often difficult for me. It’s s a time of particular loneliness for many on the spectrum – where the emphasis is on a social world that isn’t easy for us to navigate. For me, it’s also difficult for other reasons. Because it brings back bad memories.

Screen-free Holiday Challenge

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on December 23, 2012 in Mental Wealth
"Tis the season...for electronics?! Again?! As a child psychiatrist, I dread January, when instead of being rested from a couple weeks off of school, many of my patients come in revved up and spaced out.

School Shooters Who Are Not White Males

By Peter Langman Ph.D. on December 23, 2012 in Keeping Kids Safe
A brief look at the diversity of school shooters.

Community is Needed Now More Than Ever

Lessons to be learned from recent tragedies. Hope for the future lives in the present through community.

Diagnosing Scrooge Syndrome: The Dangers of Embitterment

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on December 22, 2012 in Evil Deeds
Though Ebenezer Scrooge's chronic embitterment and narcissism fortunately never resulted in his becoming a mass murderer, it conceivably could have. And, in extreme real life cases, clearly does. What can we learn from Scrooge to help us better understand and prevent tragedies like the recent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School?

“Ho, Ho, Ho”…Santa's Presidential Voice

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on December 22, 2012 in Caveman Politics
A booming “ho, ho, ho” is one of the inescapable sounds of the holiday season. We expect the rich voice of Santa to bid people a Merry Christmas, not the squeaky voice of one of his diminutive elf helpers. Based on the characteristics of leaders's voices around the world, it seems the sound of Santa's voice makes him safe among his elf constituency for generations to come.

Vitamin Death

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on December 22, 2012 in A Swim in Denial
Guns are weapons and tools. But to understand the current debate about guns, we need to keep in mind that they also function as snake oil for self-esteem.

Adam Lanza: A Psychotic Shooter?

By Peter Langman Ph.D. on December 22, 2012 in Keeping Kids Safe
There are patterns among school shooters, and as surprising as it may be, Adam Lanza fits several of them.

"Bah humbug" Prevention

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on December 22, 2012 in Just Listen
Disappointment is merely an unmet expectation; it’s only when you imbue it with negative meanings that it becomes painful.

Violent Video Games and Movies Causing Violent Behavior

December 21, 2012 the National Rifle Association (NRA) blamed the media for promoting violent video games and movies and then cited these phenomena as the primary causes of mass violence. The biggest fear many parents have is that exposure to such media may turn our kids into violent people in the world. However, research does not support this concern.

Kerry Kennedy's Response to Newtown Tragedy: Take Action

By Cathy Scott on December 22, 2012 in Crime, She Writes
Kerry Kennedy, whose father and uncle died from gunfire, offers her opinion, suggests a solution.

Paths are Made By Walking

By Viral Mehta on December 22, 2012 in Pay It Forward
To address 2012 graduates aspiring to dazzling careers, UPenn picked someone who hasn't worked for pay in a decade, and whose self-stated mission is "to bring smiles to the world and stillness to my heart". At the heart of his message were four key insights gleaned from a radical 1000 km walking pilgrimage through the villages of India -- and received a standing ovation.

Newtown: Not Just a List of Names

Relationship to the deceased makes a difference in how various mourners respond. Each group deals differently. Where a member was killed, families grief is more intense and extended over time.. Help is important but more important over time There is no quick healing as they deal with their own pain, their other children's pain and the unreality of what has happened

Brain Cancer and Environmental Toxins

By Faith Brynie Ph.D. on December 22, 2012 in Brain Sense
"Cancer attacks the mental well-being of not only the host, but also the family of the host. And with the incidence of childhood cancer increasing by over 20% from 1975-2007, the issues resulting from a diagnosis of cancer are becoming more common," says Trevor Schaefer. The new book "The Boy on the Lake" by Susan Rosser tells his story.

Help Your Shy Child Cope with the Holidays

By Alice Boyes Ph.D. on December 22, 2012 in In Practice
Parents of shy children often worry about how their child will react to an influx of visitors over the holidays. Here are five tips to make life easy for you and your child.

"Silent Night" Won't Be the Same For Me

By Kimberly Sena Moore Ph.D. on December 22, 2012 in Your Musical Self
I don't often cry when listening to music. Music touches me—I get chills and experience a range of emotions. But I rarely cry. Last Sunday was different.

5 Fights to Avoid Over The Holidays

By Anne K Fishel Ph.D. on December 22, 2012 in The Digital Family
Don't let your GPS ruin your holiday fun.

9 Quotes About Seeking -- and Finding -- Safety

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on December 22, 2012 in Off the Couch
How do we find safety in an unsafe world? These quotes have helped others. Hopefully they'll help you, too.

Why Time Flies As You Age

Does it seem like Christmas or your birthday comes sooner and sooner each year? As a child, it seemed like they would never get here. As an adult, they seem to come around sooner and sooner. Why is it that time appears to go more quickly as we get older?

It's Going To Be A Lonely, Lonely Christmas Without You

Many single parents face a lonely holiday season without their children. It's the other caregiver's turn to watch them open presents. Attending a huge family gathering may not be the best way to ease the pain.

Why violent shooting sprees can paralyze people with fear

By Brad J. Bushman Ph.D. on December 21, 2012 in Get Psyched!
In the aftermath of a shooting spree, people grossly overestimate the likelihood that it could happen to them, due to the availability heuristic. In reality, people are much safer than they think they are.

There Are No Clear Warning Signs

By Kristian Marlow on December 21, 2012 in The Superhuman Mind
It's a lot harder to profile a teen shooter than you think. So hard, in fact, it has yet to be done.

The Power in Powerlessness

We must face the ways we are powerless in order to find our power.

Nurturing a Spirit of Caring and Generosity in Children

By Kenneth Barish Ph.D. on December 21, 2012 in Pride and Joy
Most parents want more for their children than individual achievement. We also want them to be “good kids” - children who act with kindness and generosity toward their families, their friends, and their communities. These are universal values, shared by parents who are secular and religious, liberal and conservative.

The IACC weighs in on Autism and Violence

By John Elder Robison on December 21, 2012 in My Life With Asperger's
My earlier post on autism and mass murder generated a lot of discussion. This statement from the IACC offers some references for those who want to know more.

Gratitude and Community Go Hand in Hand

By Giacomo Bono Ph.D. on December 21, 2012 in Making Grateful Kids
We each try to cope with daily challenges, often alone, and forget to consider the social ties that may matter in the long run for children.

Should We Sing about Joy and Peace this Christmas?

By Nancy Berns Ph.D. on December 21, 2012 in Freedom to Grieve
How do we say “Peace on Earth” when children are gunned down in schools and countries are at war? How do we sing “Joy to the World” after hearing news reports or seeing haunting images of terror?

Virtual Zombies, Ogres, and Ore, Oh My!

This Christmas morning, many youngsters will wake to find video games, gaming systems, handheld gaming consoles, smartphones, and laptops wrapped underneath their trees. What are the effects of videogaming on children’s development? Should we worry?