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May 05, 2016
Fight for your children's right to move and play - and raise smarter, healthier kids
Is your child stuck in a rut -- perhaps even a school system -- that leaves little time for exercise? When adults create environments that prevent kids from being active, we aren't only undermining their health. We're also making it harder for kids to succeed in school. Here's an updated look at what parents and policymakers need to know.
How construction play boosts creativity, language skills (and STEM skills too)
They might not be as flashy as electronic toys. But building blocks and bricks don't just entertain. Studies suggest they promote language development, social skills, spatial skills, and creativity -- especially when adults provide the right contexts.
We want our children to succeed in the social world--to learn how to cooperate, make friends, and negotiate conflicts. We want them to develop strong perspective-taking skills, and treat other people with fairness and compassion.
How can we help them do it? See these evidence-based tips.
The health benefits of religion: Are secular parents short-changing their kids
Despite sweeping claims about the health benefits of religion, there is little evidence to support the idea that religion is uniquely protective of health or happiness. What's more likely is that people benefit from the friendship, social support, and sense of belonging that religions provide.
Cognitive development before kindergarten: Are kids smarter than they seem?
Folk wisdom and classic research paints the same dim picture of early cognitive development: Young children are illogical and incapable of reason. But in recent years, scientists are piecing together a very different view.
All around the world, people use a special register when they speak to the very young. Some think it's cute, others may find it annoying. But babies love it, and research suggests it helps babies learn to talk. Here's the latest news about a very ancient practice.
The social abilities of newborns: Why babies are born ready to learn from our sensitive, loving interactions
In times past, some people believed that newborns were effectively mindless -- tiny survival machines that depended on us for food and shelter. But the studies cited here confirm that newborn babies are fundamentally social creatures. They seem designed to listen to speech, to seek out and differentiate faces, and to expect responsive social partners.
Here's an up-to-date look at the remarkable abilities of newborns -- and their readiness to learn.
If you haven't noticed any changes in the look of this website, you probably will soon. Currently, Ezoic is testing a variety of different layouts with readers, so you may see more than one look if you visit the website on different occasions.
Meanwhile, the content is the same: Fully-referenced, evidence information for the science-minded.
Jul 20, 2015
What happens when parents are overtaxed and stressed out?
The evidence is clear: Attending to your own well-being isn't a selfish luxury. It's important for your personal relationships and your child's development.
Parenting Stress: 10 evidence-based tips for improving your health and well-being
What can parents do to get relief? A fresh look the research points to common traps, and how to beat them. And some insights might be especially helpful to the most sensitive parents. Is empathy stressing you out?
Six tips for replacing screen time with "unplugged" play
According to recent surveys, American preschoolers spend an average of four hours each day watching TV.
It represents a dramatic shift from the childhood of our ancestors. What are the consequences, and how can parents help kids learn how to entertain themselves without electronics? Here are my tips for the Urban Child Institute.
Kids need to hear a language in order to learn it. Everybody knows that. But if it were just a case of listening to the spoken word, your baby might learn just as easily from eavesdropping or watching television.
An updated look at the effects of TV on language. It isn't that TV makes kids dumb. Rather, TV time displaces crucial conversation time with parents. And there's a lot of evidence that one-on-one conversation is what really gives babies a learning boost.
For the first time, we have evidence that babies get a powerful boost from well-timed sleep. In fact, the results of the latest study may leave us wondering if sleep makes a crucial difference in what our babies learn.
The five most empowering parenting science news stories of 2014
This year, some stories stood out for their importance to parents' health and well-being. There were studies suggesting we should stop feeling defensive about our parenting choices; research revealing the power of money to undermine our satisfaction with family life; and scientific confirmation about our crazy-making sleep schedules.
Here are my nominees for the five most empowering parenting science news stories of 2014 – the stories that should inspire us, reassure us, and remind us that we’re normal after all.