It’s hard not to compliment kids on certain things. When my little girls fancy themselves up in tutus, which is every single time we leave the house, people tell them how pretty they are. I know these folks’ intentions are good, but an abundance of compliments on clothes and looks sends messages I’d rather my girls didn’t absorb at ages 2 and 4. Or ever, for that matter.
Our words, often spoken casually and without much thought, can have a big influence on little kids’ views of themselves and their behaviors. That’s very clear from two new studies on children who were praised for being smart.
The studies, conducted in China on children ages 3 and 5, suggest that directly telling kids they’re smart, or that other people think they’re intelligent, makes them more likely to cheat to win a game.
In the first study, published September 12 in Psychological Science... Read More
We’re going through a comic book phase at my house. Since lucking into the comics stash at the library, my 4-year-old refuses any other literary offering. Try as I might to rekindle her love of Rosie Revere, my daughter shuns that scrappy little... Read More
As luck (or exceptionally precise astronomical modeling) would have it, my new, small Oregon town happens to lie in the upcoming eclipse’s path of totality. For nearly two glorious minutes on August 21, we will look up and see the unworldly sight of... Read More
When we brought our first baby home from the hospital, our pediatrician advised us to have her sleep in our room. We put our tiny new roommate in a crib near our bed (though other containers that were flat, firm and free of blankets, pillows or... Read More
When I was pregnant, my pronoun shifted automatically. My “I” turned into “we,” as in, “What are we going to eat for dinner?” and, “Should we sit in that hot tub?” I thought about that shift to the majestic plural as we got our Tdap shot in our... Read More
Ever since she was a baby, my older daughter has periodically endured massive nosebleeds. When she was 10 months old, I walked into her room to pick her up after her nap. There, I was greeted with a baby happily standing in what appeared to be a sea... Read More
Most nights I read a book in bed to wind down. But when I run out of my library supply, I read articles on my phone instead. I suspect that this digital substitution messes with my sleep. That’s not good for me — but it’s probably worse for the many... Read More