Understanding Child Development

The speedy physical and psychological changes that children undergo from birth through adolescence often leave parents wondering how best to care for them at each stage. PT's experts weigh in on topics such how to talk so kids will listen, and when to back off and allow them to fail.

Recent posts on Child Development

Unloved Daughters and the Culture of Shame

By Peg Streep on June 23, 2017 in Tech Support
Shame plays many roles in an unloved daughter's life, especially on the road to recovery when the cultural notion of filial obligation becomes yet another obstacle.

The Question of ADHD

Is ADHD really biologically based? Genetic? Or a socially constructed disorder? Read on for why we should be careful of what we readily accept as true.

Cannabis for Kids: Can Marijuana Treat Childhood Seizures?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on June 21, 2017 in Psych Unseen
Smoking marijuana may not be helpful for seizures, but new research suggests that cannabidiol may be.

When People (Appear to) Have No Feelings

By Nick Luxmoore on June 21, 2017 in Young People Up Close
Therapists listen all the time for anger and despair, for sadness and hatred. But when a young person appears to be feeling nothing? To be entirely empty of feelings? What then?

Should You Negotiate with Your Child?

Sometimes that means we just have to say no and stick to it. Even when our limit is greeted with tears. But remember, there's no reason to be mean about it.

When We Outsource Talking to Toys

Many of us are drawn in by the promise that electronic toys will help our children learn. But do they live up to this promise?
Dexter & Ellie credit: Randi Hutter Epstein

Does Your Child Need Growth Hormone?

New guidelines help doctors, parents, and patients decide.

Baby Care: Baselines for Mental Health

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on June 18, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
For most babies, early experiences are undermining their short- and long-term mental (and physical) health.

Baselines for Babies

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on June 18, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
Authoritative (not authoritarian) parenting might be good for children, but it's bad for babies.

Did Your Father's Advice Shape Your Life?

Even if most fathers mean well, their advice needs a context.

For New Dads - Keys To A Great Experience

What do new fathers need? A review of survey findings and pragmatic tips about how to avoid common mistakes and make the most of your first years as a father.

The Bachs and the Epigenetics of Music

Many believe epigenetics makes inheritance of acquired traits possible, but the example of imprinted genes on chromosome 15 provides a better explanation of innate musical ability.

Four Pitfalls of Being a Grandparent

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on June 16, 2017 in Life After 50
Becoming a grandparent is one of life’s milestones. But no matter how close you are to your son or daughter and his/her spouse, you’re bound to have different ideas about it.

Why Father's Day Matters

By Lawrence R Samuel Ph.D. on June 15, 2017 in Boomers 3.0
Father’s Day is an opportunity to recognize that dads matter by bestowing in their children the psychological gifts of confidence, self-esteem, sense of adventure, and risk-taking.

Quick Tips to Shift Your Mood with Gratitude—Permanently!

Throughout your day, stop, breathe deeply and express gratitude for life having brought you to this moment. Notice that this doesn't take any extra time at all out of your day.

How Maternal Personality Problems Affect Children

How does parental personality dysfunction affect the future mental health of offspring? New research highlights how psychological issues carry over through generations.

Parent Mental Illness Casts Long Shadow on Children

Research reveals that parent mental illness can greatly impact children.

Divorced Dads and Their Daughters

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on June 14, 2017 in Pop Psych
A new study claims that the relationships between dads and daughters are important for shaping daughters' future sexual behavior. The evidence doesn't seem that clear to me.

Childrearing Tips for Modern Families

By Kimberly Key on June 14, 2017 in Counseling Keys
Research reveals what successful families do that increase resilience & functioning in kids--a must-read for any families in crisis or that suffer from addiction

Helping Kids Who Bite

Watch for signs that generally appear before she bites, and move in quickly.

Can't Get Through to Your Child?

As children develop, they naturally want to explore the world and learn for themselves. But they need to know that their parents are available, providing a safe base for them.

Lessons From Summer Camp

By Mendi Baron on June 13, 2017 in On the Verge
Got a teen or young adult on your couch? Want it back? Helping them find a purpose can go a long way.
Frank McKenna

Thick and Thin

It seems, in the end, the character trait most in question is, well, character.

Going Cold Turkey on Screens

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on June 13, 2017 in The Human Beast
Modern humans enjoy a much faster pace of life than our subsistence ancestors, makes us smarter but contributing to anxiety and health problems. Can we slow to a healthier pace?
Shutterstock ID131916308

Healthy Children’s Meals Should Be a National Priority

By The Research Lab on June 12, 2017 in The Fundamentals
Providing healthy meals to children is a critical issue, not a partisan issue. By Steven Abrams, M.D.

Help Your Kids Psych Themseves for Tests

By Temma Ehrenfeld on June 12, 2017 in Open Gently
Pre-performance rituals can help your kids shine before tests and performances.

The Bully on the Screen

With the explosion of social media, the proliferation of screens, and the rapid rise in screen time, children are more exposed than ever to cyber-bullying.

ADHD Summer Reading Challenge

Reading is one of the most crucial activities for children, promoting language development, building knowledge, and setting up academic success, but ADHD can make it hard.

What's So Special About Dads

For Father's Day, we describe the science of what makes fathers unique from mothers, and the special role they play in child development.

Six Things You Should Know About ADHD

A recent study, geared toward teachers promotes a new understanding of ADHD—a diagnosis that has been skyrocketing among American children.