Does social media harm kids?

Kids these days.attribution-PictureYouth-CC by 2.0-25621863596_50c9c5f108_h

It’s a phrase that has been uttered for decades by older generations as youth forge their way through the modern world. Today, the phrase often refers to youth’s use of social networking sites. There’s plenty of times I’ve heard older adults argue that relationships forged through platforms like Instagram and Google chat don’t qualify as “real” social connections. [Read more…]

When should kids start kindergarten?

chalkboardIt’s the season when parents of incoming kindergartners register their children for school. For many parents, myself included, deciding which year children should start formal schooling is difficult. [Read more…]

What we know about kids and screen time

kids and screen timeNew findings about screen-time for babies and kids are something I keep a close eye on.  As parent of three young children, I want to do what’s best for them. And yet I’m often tempted to use the television – “just one show” – when I need to get something done. [Read more…]

Kids these days…: The evidence on teen behaviors

teenagersAt one time or another, we have all heard someone say, “Kids these days…” in the lofty tone that suggests children from generations past were better behaved, more responsible and less troubled than today’s youth.  Maybe you’ve even said something similar yourself; I know that I have. [Read more…]

Transition to kindergarten

school busMy middle child is four years old, and will be starting kindergarten in the fall.  While that may seem like a long time away, I know from experiencing this transition once before that it helps to start thinking about it early. [Read more…]

Mental health and sexual orientation: What the evidence says

Gay-MarriageBeing different than other people — whether it means your race, gender, or sexual orientation — is often a source of stress in our society today. People of minority sexual orientations often feel that stress most acutely, according to the evidence. [Read more…]

Kids and ear infections: What’s the best strategy?

sick kidIf you’ve ever parented a child who gets frequent ear infections, you know that this is the time of year to brace yourself. It starts with a runny nose. And before you know it, there’s a fever and ear pain. [Read more…]

The birds and bees: Talking to your kids about safe sex

teenagers2There are conversations that many parents approach with apprehension. Ranking high on that list are talks about sex. But given our modern culture, conversations between parents and children about sex are increasingly important.

[Read more…]

Can we help children to avoid sexual abuse?

child-abuseI received a shocking e-mail from my public school superintendent a few weeks ago. A substitute teacher who has worked at my son’s elementary school was arrested for possessing child pornography.

After my initial surprise at the e-mail, I gave some serious thought to how I should broach the issue with my son, or whether to mention anything at all.  At seven years old, I’ve never talked to him about the possibility of sexual abuse. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know what it is.  I wasn’t sure if a conversation would be helpful, or would make him feel anxious or uncomfortable. [Read more…]

A tough pill to swallow? The evidence on taking medicine

Antidepressant pillsThere are all sorts of medicines on the market today that help us to feel our best, prevent illness and treat disease. The vast majority of them come in pill form. But some people struggle — for a variety of reasons —to swallow pills. [Read more…]

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