Shopping for a new high-tech gift for the child in your life this holiday season? It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the options. Bright boxes, colorful apps and cute plastic robots will promise that learning outcomes will improve if your child plays with x, y or z.
Psychologists first became interested in imaginary friends in the early 19th century because they feared they could be a sign of emotional unstability or psychological problems in children.
As early as the fifth century, the Greek philosopher Thucydides contrasted the self-control and stoicism of Spartans with the more indulgent and free-thinking citizens of Athens.
Multiple hormones produced by the mother, placenta and the fetus drive and coordinate the amazing biological changes and development of the baby that occur with conception, fetal growth and birth.
Don’t force an unremorseful kid to apologize until they’re truly sorry, new research suggests. The point of an apology—to express remorse and repair relationships—is lost because children may dislike the apologizer even more after the insincere apology than before.
Maternal and child health in Australia, like most countries, has traditionally focused on health during pregnancy and in the early years of life. But this approach may be missing a key opportunity to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes.
Women often wonder what the “right” length of time is after giving birth before getting pregnant again. A recent Canadian study suggests 12-18 months between pregnancies is ideal for most women.
New research shows how intensive instruction changes brain circuitry in struggling readers.
Research suggests children can be reliably diagnosed with autism before the age of two. It also shows that many of the behavioural symptoms of autism are present before the age of one.
Over the past three decades, there has been a steady increase in the average age of parents. Advances in fertility science mean that people can, literally, put their eggs or sperm on ice and delay the start of parenthood.
An investigative report by the BBC recently found that the number of antidepressants prescribed to children in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland has risen 24% over the past three years.
Healthy sleep leads to healthy brains. Neuroscientists have gotten that message out. But parents, doctors and educators alike have struggled to identify what to do to improve sleep. Some have called for delaying school start times or limiting screentime before bed to achieve academic, health and even economic gains.
Good emotional health as a child lays the foundation for good life satisfaction in adulthood. However, in the UK children and young people’s happiness with their life is now at its lowest since 2010.
It seems impossible, right? We have been taught from the time we were young that babies are made when a sperm and an egg come together, and the DNA from these two cells combine to make a unique individual with half the DNA from the mother and half from the father.
Births by caesarean section are rising, worldwide. The latest figures (2016) show that 25% of births in Western Europe were by caesarean delivery; in North America it was 32%, and in South America 41%.
Reading instruction in the classroom is a key concern for all teachers and there are many ways to go about it. However, is our determination to achieve excellence in reading skills in our children killing their love and enjoyment of a good book?
We often hear about the benefits of reading storybooks at bedtime for promoting vocabulary, early literacy skills, and a good relationship with your child. But the experts haven’t been in your home, and your child requests the same book every single night, sometimes multiple times a night. You both know all the words by heart.
Everyone’s family background has affected them, for better or worse. In the UK today, it is difficult for young people to get a good job, and this means that families are having to provide more support for young people.
Adolescence is the life stage when mental illnesses are most likely temerge, with anxiety disorders being the most common. Recent estimates suggest that over 30 percent of teens have an anxiety disorder. That means about one of every three teenagers is struggling with anxiety that significantly interferes with their life and is unlikely to fade without treatment.
Research shows that students who engage in inquiry-based learning perform better on standardized tests than students in more traditional learning environments
Contrary to the belief we Aussies are a nature-loving outdoor nation, research suggests we’re spending less and less time outdoors. This worrying trend is also becoming increasingly apparent in our educational settings.
When you have a newborn baby, your waistline may be the last thing on your mind. Yet women often feel pressured to lose their “baby weight” as quickly as they can after pregnancy.
Very few people can resist smiling at a newborn baby – signalling positive emotions, such as joy and interest. Of course, this is especially true for new parents. One study found that new mothers looked at their 16-hour-old babies 80% of the time and smiled at them 34% of the time.
On Halloween, the cinemas and TV channels are filled with horror movies. But what should you do if you have a young child who wants to watch too?
Many families are deciding where to enrol their child in preschool or school. Preschools and schools offer various approaches to early education, all promoting the benefits of their particular programs.
The international research is clear. Stimulating and positive environments early in life provide optimal foundations for children’s ongoing development into adulthood. This in turn makes a difference to the productivity of society at large. Communities are important environments in which young children grow and develop. There is limited research, however, on how communities can best influence early childhood development.
A common childhood fear is fear of the dark. Many children become terrified of the dark and can't go to sleep in a darkened room alone, convinced the "bogeyman" or some other night creature is waiting in the shadows to get them. I had a client whose son was terrified...
Adolescence is an amazing time, filled with countless opportunities and challenges for your daughter. She is facing many of the decisions that will shape her adult life. To successfully handle these potentially life-altering situations, she needs a strong internal decision-making center.
Nail-biting, nose-picking, mouth-chewing, skin-picking, hair-pulling – we all do some of them, some of the time. Some normal grooming behaviours help maintain good hygiene (such as picking at a dirty finger nail) and appearance (plucking that pesky grey hair).
Weed, pot, grass, marijuana — or cannabis to use the proper terminology — is now legal in Canada, after 95 years of prohibition. Anyone over the age of 18, or 19 depending on the province, can now walk into a store and buy up to 30 grams (approx. 1 ounce) of regulated product.
There is less fighting among young people in countries where there is a complete ban on all corporal punishment of children, according to a new study of more than 400,000 youth in 88 countries.
English spelling has a reputation for being illogical and chaotic. What’s going on with yacht, and why the W in two? There are a thousand other “but why?” questions our children ask about English spelling.
Humans have been migrating since prehistoric times – moving within and beyond geographical borders – in search of food, for survival or for better prospects in life.
From crying in the toilet to leaving the house in a rage, many parents and carers don’t want their children to see them getting emotional. But is this the right thing to do, or should you come clean about your fear of spiders or how angry you are with your boss? While the topic is complex, some clear answers are beginning to emerge from the research.
For years, Facebook grew in size and influence at a staggering rate. But recent reports suggest its hold on users — particularly in the developed world — may be weakening.
Young people need a brand of sex education that is responsive to current realities, behaviours and pressures so they can get the most comprehensive and contemporary information about the issues that they will face and are facing in making decisions about relationships and sexual activity.
Each year, more parents send their young child to elementary school equipped with a smartphone. For instance, the percentage of third-graders who reported having their own cellphone more than doubled from 19 percent in 2013 to 45 percent in 2017.
A lot of us suffer a great deal in our lives because our inner child has old wounds that have never been healed. It is important to know how to overcome our old wounds, because all too often they stand in the way of our ability to fully love ourselves, other people, and the children in our lives. Our old wounds often become our children's burden.
The friends that adolescents select, the influence they have on each other, and gender may all play a role in establishing friendships that can help, or possibly hurt, teens, according to new research.
For most parents, the phrase “I don’t want to brush my teeth” is rather familiar. While it may seem easiest to pry their mouth open and force them to brush, research suggests there are better ways that may positively influence children’s future dental health.
Parents may display more conservative attitudes, according to new research. Parental advice like “Look both ways before you cross the street,” or “Don’t run with scissors,” can be considered examples of a certain perspective that portrays the world as a dangerous place—a perspective parents might use to instill caution in their children.
Encouraging children “to help,” rather than asking them to “be helpers,” can instill persistence as they work to fulfill daily tasks that are difficult to complete, according to a new study.
Survey the shelves of most supermarkets and you’ll no doubt be confronted with row upon row of food designed to appeal to children. Be it chicken nuggets or turkey twizzlers – many foods now bear little resemblance to their original ingredients – “junk foods” now line the supermarket shelves to appeal to young consumers.
Parents play a critical role in their children’s early math education. They not only can provide math-related toys and games, but serve as role models demonstrating how math is used in everyday activities.
When schools suspend kindergartners and first-graders, some find it a challenge to turn things around in their academic life, a new study shows.
Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended to facilitate a baby’s development and minimise flat head syndrome. But some babies don’t like tummy time, and will kick up an almighty fuss to let you know. Luckily, tummy time is not all you can do to get your baby moving.
The real danger of separating children from parents is not the psychological stress – it’s the biological time bomb.. The screaming and crying, the anguish and desolation is gut-wrenching. But the fallout pales in comparison to the less visible long-term effects that are more sinister and dangerous.
Acceptance is the hallmark of many Eastern teachings. The opposite of acceptance and validation is judgment and denial, which make us tense up, lose our center, criticize ourselves and others, and hold impossible standards for everyone. When we are being judgmental, we invalidate ourselves and others.
We know from new research that children whose mothers are depressed may respond differently to stress, have altered immunity and be at greater risk of psychological disorders. This work adds to the body of research showing children can be affected in negative and long-term ways by their mothers’ mental ill-health.
When talking about separation and divorce, media and personal stories often focus on relationships characterised by ongoing conflict or violence. In contrast, Australian research suggests low conflict or cooperative post-separation relationships are common. These are negotiated in contexts that require what British sociologist Carol Smart described as an “indelible” joint-parenting contract.
Children of divorce are less likely to earn a four-year or graduate degree, according to a new study. The study is one of the first to look specifically at divorce and graduate education. Susan Stewart, professor of sociology at Iowa State University, says it is important to understand this relationship as more jobs require a graduate or professional degree.
Worldwide, people are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. In Australia, less than 4% of us meet the Australian Dietary Guideline recommendations for vegetables by age group. Worryingly, children and teenagers are even less likely than adults to be eating enough vegetables.
Less than 1% of kids aged two to three are eating the recommended 2.5 serves of vegetables and legumes a day. Between ages four to eight, 0% of kids are meeting their minimum 4.5 serves of vegetables per day. Most children up to 13 are eating two or fewer serves per day when the aim is closer to five serves.
While some kids may be lucky enough to skate through their parents’ separation relatively unscathed, the majority are going to suffer at least some short term, if not longer term distress. As an adult, you’ve likely forgotten just how central your family was to your sense of stability and even identity. Children have yet to develop autonomy, independence or a secure sense of self; instead, their entire frame of reference is strongly centred around their family. When that framework is broken, their world can feel as though it has fallen apart.
Exposure to an acute stress in utero can have long-term consequences extending into childhood—but only among children in poor households, according to a new study. The study, which took place in Chile, did not find the same effect among children in upper- or middle-class families.
Dress code policies have always been prevalent in schools. Normally, what children can and cannot wear in schools is explicitly noted in school policies or implicitly implied by broader cultural and societal norms. The issue of the vast and sometimes exhaustive list of dress code policies of what cannot be worn has not had any resolution across localities and countries.
There is magic in stories. We all remember hearing them as children, and we loved them. Imaginary adventures set in faraway places. Tales about how the dishwasher isn’t working. It doesn’t matter! Whether made up by parents or read from books, kids love to hear stories. Our recent work showed reading to children positively impacts long term academic achievement more than many other activity (including playing music with them, or doing craft).
Up to two-thirds of students experience ‘ninth grade shock,’ which can affect everything from grades to mental health.
What dads do online helps them navigate gender roles as society changes.
When people think of women freezing their eggs, it’s often seen as something to do if you want to get ahead in your career – a way of delaying motherhood.
Childhood bullying is so common that it may not seem like a big deal. Up to 35% per cent of people are estimated to have experienced it at some point.
During August football practice, every coach’s favorite cheer will be to “stay hydrated” and “keep urine clear” during the summer heat.
One emotion holding many of us back is negative love: our tendency to repeat the behaviors we used to win our parents’ love, and to repeat our parents’ attitudes, behaviors, and treatment of us. Generation after generation pass on the same type of negative love...
Using coercion to get your kid to eat healthy foods doesn’t really have effect, good or bad, on their weight. But it can cause meal-time tension and damage the parent-child relationship, a new study suggests.
The physical benefits of getting kids moving have been well recognised to help prevent chronic disease and develop movement habits across their lifespan.
In five states that decriminalized marijuana between 2007 and 2015, there was no corresponding rise in the drug’s use among young people, a new analysis shows.
Research shows that playing games can enhance our personal, social and emotional well-being, as well as our mental acuity. Many board games strengthen the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brains of players.
From educational toys to governmental guidelines and detailed nursery progress reports, there are lots of resources available to help parents track and facilitate their children’s development.
In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to protect children from failure in order to safeguard their fragile self-esteem.
It’s that time of year again, when the noticeboard outside your local primary school is likely to read “Enrol your child for kindergarten/prep now”. But how do you know what the “right” age to start school is?
Children typically begin lying in the preschool years, between two and four years of age. These intentional attempts at deception may worry parents, who fear their child will become a pint-sized social deviant.
Whenever you get a chance, even if it’s only ten minutes, engage in shared reading activities.
Each year, more than 6 million children in the United States are referred to Child Protective Services for abuse or neglect. Previous research on the consequences of early life stress and child maltreatment shows that these children will be more likely to develop a multitude of social and mental health problems.
With all the freedoms independent living entails, it’s maybe not surprising then that drug use tends to be much higher among students than the general population.
Three out of four pediatricians disapprove of spanking, research finds.
The truth is that my favorite Father’s Day gift this year has been the gift of time.
As a society, we often wax eloquent about how important it is to nurture, support and protect our children. The sad reality, however, is that all too often major, life-changing decisions are made without any consideration of their potential lifelong and devastating impact on kids.
One in 7 women suffer depression around pregnancy.
Parents often have different expectations for their three- to five-year-old children when they attend an early learning center.
How much do you know about the guidance on drinking in pregnancy? Most are aware of the “don’t drink” message. But if you’re an expectant mother, or someone who’s job involves giving advice, our new study shows that the abstinence message can feel too simplistic.
As Amazon releases an Echo Dot smart-home device aimed at children, it’s entering a busy and growing marketplace. More than one-third of U.S. homes with children has at least one “internet of things” connected toy – like a cuddly creature who can listen to and respond to a child’s inquiries.
You’ve probably heard that breast milk provides all the energy requirements, vitamins and nutrients that an infant needs. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding babies for the first six months of life when possible. Unfortunately there are a number of reasons that breastfeeding can be a challenge...
Young adults who listen to music with their parents during childhood—and especially during adolescence—report having better relationships with their moms and dads as they enter young adulthood, according to a new study.
Economic tumult in the early 2000s persuaded many young people to keep living with their parents, but their reasons differ starkly by race, a study concludes.
GOD, IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT TODAY'S SOCIETY, WHAT WOULD IT BE? -- Peter, 15 yrs old -- I would change your beliefs about who you are, and who I am, and how life is. I would cause you to notice that you and I are One, that you are likewise one with everything and everyone else...
Almost half of all children will go through a fussy eating period in the early years. Rest assured, refusal of foods by young children is a normal stage of development.
The rise in violent incidents on the streets of London has prompted a wave of discussion about what causes crime among young people.
Anyone who has raised children or grown up with siblings knows there are some bumpy times in a child’s life.
One of the biggest issues modern schools and parents have to encounter is how to manage students’ electronic use. The guidelines state students aged five to 18 shouldn’t be spending more than two hours per day engaged in electronic media for entertainment. Yet the recommendations have even been challenged as being “virtually impossible” for students to meet.
As an economist at the University of Toronto who has researched child-care policy for the last 30 years, and the main author of a new study — “Affordable For All: Making Licensed Child Care Affordable in Ontario” — let me try to explain why free preschool really does make the most economic and social sense.
Women without kids have earned more than employed mothers for decades or longer.
Primary care providers and pediatricians may be less confident than child and adolescent psychiatrists in their ability to tell whether irritability in young patients is normal or could be linked to deeper mental health issues, a new study suggests.
More than 40 years ago, psychologist Sandra Scarr put forth a provocative idea: that genetic influence on children’s cognitive abilities is linked to their family’s income. The wealthier the family, the more influence genes have on brain development, the thinking went.
The idea that four-year-old boys have a spurt of testosterone is often used to explain challenging behaviour at this age. But how did this idea come about? Is there any truth in it? And if not, what else could explain their behaviour?
Reading to your child is one of the most successful ways of instilling a love of reading in them. Children typically enjoy being read to, and there are educational, social and emotional benefits to the practice. But families are busy, and finding time to read aloud can be eaten up by the demands of everyday life.
Before the 1980s, clinicians actually performed surgery on newborns without giving them anaesthetics or pain medications.
Race-based conflicts and prejudices are common. The persistence of such attitudes has led some to ask whether we are naturally inclined to like those who are like us and dislike those who are different. One way to investigate that is to do experiments with babies and young children.
The UK department of health recommends that young people (aged five to 18) should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. But not enough teenagers actually do.
Medical and surgical intervention during birth continues to rise in much of the world.
It is one thing to read (or write) about bringing up children, and quite another to actually do it. Words are easy to come by; so are anecdotes and suggestions. Yet without deeds, the soundest educational theory is useless...
Millions of people all over the world are experiencing mental health problems. And though the causes vary, we know that half of all these illnesses will have started in childhood or the teenage years.