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

Ethical Issues in Treating Childhood Obesity

How do doctors decide when to recommend surgery for a child with obesity?

4 Steps to Build Self-Discipline and Willpower in Students

By Tim Elmore on April 27, 2017 in Artificial Maturity
There's nothing more common than finding students who are loaded with potential, yet end up severely under-performing. So how do we cultivate willpower and self-discipline in them?

Childhood Anxiety

Childhood anxieties build upon one another, becoming the gateway to bipolar, schizophrenia, and all adult mental disorders.

Unloved Daughters and the One Question You Must Stop Asking

By Peg Streep on April 26, 2017 in Tech Support
It's the question that every daughter of an unloving mother wants answered but it's really a blind alley.

A Psychology of Conspiracy Theory

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on April 25, 2017 in A Swim in Denial
Conspiracy theories used to be kooky inventions homemade in somebody’s mental garage. Now they’re tools in mainstream contests for power.

Will Trump’s Immigration Policies Create Child Terrorists?

By Jack Turban on April 25, 2017 in Political Minds
Research suggests that policies and rhetoric targeting Muslim majority nations may backfire by creating child terrorists.

On Writing Systems

How different is it for children learning to read in a language that is not English? It may depend on the characteristics of the writing system that the language is written in.

Play: A Different Perspective

Much has been studied and written about play, and we would like to consider play from a somewhat different perspective, namely, that of affect theory.

ADHD and Self Compassion

What’s the impact of living life with ADHD, seeing exactly what ‘should’ be done and often not getting there anyway.

Morality: Seeds Must Be Planted Rightly in Early LIfe

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on April 23, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
It’s easy to believe that reasoning is the most important aspect of morality. But it isn't. Morality "goes all the way down" to how well our neurobiological systems work.

What Are the Proper Purposes of a System of Schooling?

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on April 23, 2017 in Freedom to Learn
Our compulsory school system was designed, long ago, for very specific purposes. Those purposes may now be outdated. What should be the purposes of a system of schooling today?

Learning How to Tease and Be Teased

By Nick Luxmoore on April 22, 2017 in Young People Up Close
Young people spend hours teasing each other and being teased. Why? Why do they do it? And how do they learn when to stop?

How Many Wars on the Human Psyche and Body Can We Fight?

Does language shape behavior? Does the language of war create more warlike strategies in unexpected arenas that really have nothing to do with war?

What Is the Difference Between Conflict and Bullying?

Gratuitous references to bullying will create a “boy who cried wolf” phenomenon in which adults no longer act with urgency to protect the children who need them most.

LeBron James Goes Dark

LeBron James is a trail blazer. Is he on to something with #zerodark23?

Intelligence, Education, Personality, and Social Mobility

By Michael Hogan Ph.D. on April 21, 2017 in In One Lifespan
What predicts upward social mobility? We identified four important factors—education, intelligence, higher openness and lower neuroticism.

How to Break the Cycle of Shame With Your Child

The more empathic you are as you set the limit, the more your child will accept the limit, and WANT to shift gears to channel his impulses into more acceptable behavior.

Renewing War-Torn Communities Through Forgiveness Education

Might forgiveness education be the missing piece to the peace puzzle?

Imprinting and the Epigenetics of the Brain and Sleep

One of the best-understood epigenetic mechanisms—genomic imprinting—explains much about both sleep and the brain.

Beyond Recess: Synchronized Play Improves Kids' Cooperation

We all know the elated feeling of swinging side-by-side with someone in synchrony. Now, researchers have identified unexpected benefits of synchronized movement during childhood.

Are You Confusing Love With Something Else?

As parents we want to hold onto the illusion that we can fix or control our children. We cannot fix or control them; it is an illusion.

Does Prince Harry Reveal How To Cope With Loss?

...the counterintuitive finding is that such a profoundly negative experience as losing a parent during childhood, can lead you to feel more gratitude or appreciation for life...

Divorce and Autism: Familiarity, Stability, Consistency

Children with autism thrive on familiarity, stability, and consistency. In divorce, work to maintain your child's relationships in the neighbourhood, school, and family.

Do I Look Hot? Building Self Confidence With Selfies

With self confidence built on selfies, what kind of women will our daughters become?

Children in Polyamorous Families Part 2

Children in polyamorous families experience unique practical and emotional advantages but no unique disadvantages that are not present in other forms of blended families.

A Simple Trick to Get Your Kid to Stop Whining

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 16, 2017 in The Squeaky Wheel
You can get your child to stop whining if you follow this formula:

How Common Is Childhood Mental Illness?

Think childhood mental illness is rare? Think again.
Guas/Shutterstock

What Is Your Teen Hearing About Sex and Pregnancy?

By Guest Blogger on April 14, 2017 in The Guest Room
Families describe a complicated social world filled with strict rules, inconsistencies, silence, gossip, control by adults, and pushback from teens.

Money Management Skills for Children

By Jann Gumbiner Ph.D. on April 12, 2017 in The Teenage Mind
Teach your children good money management skills and spare them a lifetime of debt.

The Big D

By Janet Hicks Ph.D. on April 12, 2017 in Raising Parents
How can I help my child survive our divorce?