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Many people who would never characterize their family life as violent are nonetheless presenting a toxic environment to their children. Read about the effects of witnessing verbal domestic battles in my article for the Urban Child Institute.
Domestic violence doesn't just hurt the person who gets hit. It can also have profound physical and emotional effects on the young children who witness it. But the good news is we can help kids recover. See my overview for the Urban Child Institute.
Some thoughts on a trend: The over-regulation of recess
Some Swedish preschools avoid calling kids "he" or "she." Will this tactic help children develop more egalitarian ideas about gender? Some thoughts on gender references in language, and a study with surprising answers.
Some kids are more aggressive than others, but that doesn't mean it's all "in their genes" and there is little we can do about it.
On the contrary, research suggests that kids with aggressive tendencies are often especially responsive to the effects of smart, sensitive parenting.
See my evidence-based article for the Urban Child Institute.
Research suggests that the fat stored on women's hips, thighs, and buttocks becomes crucial brain "baby food" during pregnancy and lactation.
Time-outs are often used on young children, kids who haven’t yet learned how to analyze why things went wrong, or talk themselves into a better attitude. Can we come up with an approach that does a better job of teaching them to improve?
Some kids seem to shy to socialize. Others too aggressive to get along. But either way, parents can help them develop good social skills. See my summary for the Urban Child Institute.
How important is it to eat fish? A recent study adds weight to the case that omega-3 fatty acids -- found in many seafoods -- play an important role in a child's cognitive development.
The Buddha thought it was clear that babies find birth painful, and modern science would seem to back him up.
How does your child's teacher handle misbehavior? One old-fashioned approach -- making public examples of the kids who don't measure up -- might do more harm than good. If your young child has recently started school, this is a good time to revisit my post about classroom behavior charts.
A new study bolsters the idea that babies learn language faster when we assume their vocalizations are meaningful -- and we respond appropriately.
Being able to read nonverbal cues is a crucial skill. Are today's kids getting enough practice? Maybe not.
When we hear about developmental markers that predict success, we should take researchers' warnings to heart. No single factor determines a child’s future, and our optimism makes a difference.
A new study suggests that many new mothers are still dangerously sleepy after 4 months postpartum.
When you are having strife or tension with a partner, and the bad mood infects your interactions with your kids, that's called spillover. And spillover isn't a good thing.
By some accounts, soothing your baby to sleep is a bad thing–a tactic that will lead to sleep problems later on. But it depends on your priorities, and even then, the research makes me wonder. The negative effects may be very small, and we have to ask: Are babies reaping brain benefits?
New experiments suggest that even very young babies are hard at work trying to figure out the trick – what you're doing with your mouth, tongue, lips, and larynx to make all those sounds.
You're not crazy, parents. Living with nighttime interruptions really does make a huge difference, one that goes beyond the sheer number of hours you spend asleep.
Recent studies suggests that keyboards have a bizarre effect on our preferences for baby names.
Such research reminds us: Our preferences aren’t as stable or as rational as we suppose. How many other aspects of parenting are influenced by unconscious and irrelevant cultural biases?
A new study suggests that coordinated dance moves might make babies like us more.
Creating a great educational experience isn’t just a question of shuttling kids to an interesting destination. It also depends on our ability to share and explore ideas.
Melting ice cubes in the sun? Letting kids explore and make discoveries on their own?
It's an old-fashioned approach, but research suggests it may be the best -- if you want to encourage young children to think for themselves.
"Talking up" to kids -- using sophisticated vocabulary -- is helpful. But what about babies? Researchers think they have indirect evidence that babies benefit too.
When being popular is the primary goal, kids may focus on learning to impress rather than learning to connect, and that doesn’t bode well for their long-term health or happiness.
Kids benefit when homes and classrooms have lots of books and educational materials. But when it's time to focus and study, a hyper-stimulating environment with lots of visual distraction is not the best place to be.
See my blog post about the virtues of a simplicity.
New research suggests that pregnancy makes your autonomic nervous system respond more powerfully to music. Do such changes help unborn babies learn about the musical world?
Are Tiger Mothers doing kids a favor or a disservice? Is parental pressure a good thing or a bad thing?
New research confirms what many cultural psychologists have suspected for a long time: It depends on how a child feels about his parent.
An updated look at how a child's theory of intelligence can change the way she learns.
We already know that people learn useful lessons from play. Should we be surprised if kids learn special psychological lessons when they are left to work things out for themselves?
Stress is contagious in adults. Can we doubt that the same is true for babies? New research confirms what some parents have argued all along. Babies can sense stress, and stand to benefit when adults make an effort to unwind and calm down.
Recent research suggests that young children are developmentally unready for competitive games. But cooperative board games are another matter...and an opportunity to teach children about rules and tactical thinking.
Believe it or not, your child's willingness to help may depend, in part, on whether you use verbs or nouns to describe good work.
Ever since psychologists first proposed parenting style categories, permissive parents have been considered the misguided layabouts of the childcare world. But is permissiveness really all that bad? I think it depends on what exactly you permit, and how your child handles it.
Here is an updated look at permissive parenting.
How do we teach kids to conserve the earth's resources? Maybe the most crucial factor is getting kids to play outside.
In recent months, headlines announced that music lessons do not have an effect on the way kids think and learn.
But the study in question didn't test the effects of learning to play a musical instrument. Instead, it tested the effects of 6 weeks of music-oriented preschool activities on young children.
What, then, do we know about the effects of serious, sustained musical training? It's clear that such training causes changes in the brain, and there is reason to think that many of the skills musicians acquire could be relevant for academic achievement.
The best reason to enroll kids in music lessons remains the obvious one: Learning to play music, and understand it, is intrinsically rewarding. But kids may also benefit in other ways.
For an updated review of the evidence, see my article, "Music and intelligence."
Some thoughts about a new study suggesting that early life adversity shortens a child's telomeres, and, therefore, hastens the aging process.
New evidence that a nap helps babies figure out the rules that govern language.
How is school serving your child? Here is my updated round-up of the many articles and blog posts I've written about schooling: A review of the best-available evidence about educating our kids.
An updated look at what hunter-gatherers have to teach us about healthy diets.