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Your search has returned 73 articles:
  • Growth Curve

    How to help your toddler be helpful (with caveats)

    Getting help from a toddler is a bit like not getting help: They mean well, but you may end up with more of a mess than when you started.

    But given the choice, many kids prefer “real” activities to imaginary games, Bruce Bower recently reported in depth for Science News. And the benefits of recruiting your child for help with chores may go beyond conquering that pile of laundry: Research...

    06/20/2018 - 10:00 Parenting, Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    Kids are selective imitators, not extreme copycats

    Psychologists generally regard preschoolers as supreme copycats. Those little bundles of energy will imitate whatever an adult does to remove a prize from a box, including irrelevant and just plain silly stuff. If an experimenter pats a container twice before lifting a latch to open it, so will most kids who watched the demonstration.

    There’s an official scientific name for mega-mimicry...

    05/15/2018 - 07:00 Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    Babies’ kicks in the womb are good for their bones

    One of the strangest things about growing a human being inside your body is the alien sensation of his movements. It’s wild to realize that these internal jabs and pushes are the work of someone else’s nervous system, skeleton and muscles. Someone with his own distinct, mysterious agenda that often includes taekwondoing your uterus as you try to sleep.

    Around the 10-week mark, babies...

    01/30/2018 - 16:00 Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    The science behind kids’ belief in Santa

    Over the past week, my little girls have seen Santa in real life at least three times (though only one encounter was close enough to whisper “yo-yo” in his ear). You’d think that this Santa saturation might make them doubt that each one was the real deal. For one thing, they looked quite different. Brewery Santa’s beard was a joke, while Christmas-tree-lighting Santa’s beard was legit. Add to...

    12/22/2017 - 12:30 Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    An abundance of toys can curb kids’ creativity and focus

    The holiday onslaught is upon us. For some families with children, the crush of holiday gifts — while wonderful and thoughtful in many ways — can become nearly unmanageable, cluttering both rooms and minds.

    This year, I’m striving for simplicity as I pick a few key presents for my girls. I will probably fail. But it’s a good goal, and one that has some new science to back it. Toddlers...

    12/14/2017 - 07:00 Child Development, Parenting
  • Growth Curve

    Staring into a baby’s eyes puts her brain waves and yours in sync

    When you lock eyes with a baby, it’s hard to look away. For one thing, babies are fun to look at. They’re so tiny and cute and interesting. For another, babies love to stare back. I remember my babies staring at me so hard, with their eyebrows raised and unblinking eyes wide open. They would have killed in a staring contest.

    This mutual adoration of staring may be for a good reason. When...

    12/05/2017 - 15:30 Child Development, Parenting
  • Growth Curve

    Six-month-old babies know words for common things, but struggle with similar nouns

    Around the six-month mark, babies start to get really fun. They’re not walking or talking, but they are probably babbling, grabbing and gumming, and teaching us about their likes and dislikes. I remember this as the time when my girls’ personalities really started making themselves known, which, really, is one of the best parts of raising a kid. After months of staring at those beautiful, bald...

    11/20/2017 - 16:30 Child Development, Parenting
  • Growth Curve

    Moms tweak the timbre of their voice when talking to their babies

    Voices carry so much information. Joy and anger, desires, comfort, vocabulary lessons. As babies learn about their world, the voice of their mother is a particularly powerful tool. One way mothers wield that tool is by speaking in the often ridiculous, occasionally condescending baby talk.

    Also called “motherese,” this is a high-pitched, exaggerated language full of short, slow phrases...

    10/18/2017 - 07:00 Parenting, Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    Seeing an adult struggle before succeeding inspires toddlers to persevere too

    I recently wrote about the power that adults’ words can have on young children. Today, I’m writing about the power of adults’ actions. Parents know, of course, that their children keep a close eye on them. But a new study provides a particularly good example of a watch-and-learn moment: Toddlers who saw an adult struggle before succeeding were more likely to persevere themselves.

    ...

    09/29/2017 - 11:12 Parenting, Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    Telling children they’re smart could tempt them to cheat

    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...

    09/22/2017 - 14:54 Child Development, Parenting