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…]

The science of giving

holidays-giving2-180x75It was big news this week when Mark Zuckerberg, a co-founder and CEO of Facebook, announced that he would give 99 percent of his Facebook shares, currently valued at more than $45 billion, to charity.  Zuckerberg made the announcement on Giving Tuesday, a movement to spark charitable giving in response to the high levels of commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season. [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…]

What we know about kids and car seats

car seatCar seat technology has certainly come a long way in the past three decades. I have clear memories sitting in the front seat of my mom’s car (and playing with the radio buttons!) at age five — a practice that is now against the law in most states. [Read more…]

Parents can eliminate summer learning loss

kids_runningKids across the country are off school and enjoying summer vacation.  This typically means more time spent at the park, swimming pool or beach, as it should!  It often means more time in front of the TV too.  And that almost always results in less time engaged in educational pursuits like reading, math and problem solving. [Read more…]

Poor health among kids harms education

Nela & Boris at Lighthouse Point complex - Collingwood, Ontario (August 2nd, 2008)Social scientists have clearly documented the link between education and poor health: Essentially, people with lower levels of education are more likely to suffer from illness and injury, and ultimately an earlier death. (More on that next week.) [Read more…]

New evidence on bullying

teenagersThe problem of bullying has received increased public attention in the U.S. and across the world over the past decade.  In response to being bullied by their peers,  adolescents have often  taken drastic measures – including committing suicide. [Read more…]

Parental age and autism: What we know

autismIf you’re a regular reader, you likely saw our post earlier this month regarding the prevalence of mental health problems among youth in America.

Last week, another new study raised additional questions about the factors that lead to autism among youth.  The study, published in the journal Molecular Psychology, is the largest of its kind examining the relationship between parental age and autism. It includes more than 5.7 million children in five countries born between 1985 and 2004. [Read more…]

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