Education, Parenting

Childhood Enemies

Focusing on an “enemy” keeps kids trapped in conflict. A young girl I worked with was preoccupied with everything that another girl in her class did. She strongly disliked this girl, and the feeling was mutual. Every day the two girls watched each other closely and complained to friends, teachers, and parents about everything the other girl did wrong. They fretted about…

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How to Get Your Children to Do Chores
Education, Parenting

How to Get Your Children to Do Chores

Children should do chores. Period. Besides the practical benefits of helping their parents, the reality is that children have psychological-developmental needs related to doing chores. It’s healthy for kids to contribute at home. Being a part of the ongoing work of running a household helps children develop an awareness of the needs of others, while at the same time contributing…

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Parenting

Bringing the Science of Learning to Your Homeschool

In my pre-kid life, I was a practicing school psychologist, educational researcher, neuroscience lab research assistant, and college lecturer. I should note that I was not all those things at one time! All of these positions aided my understanding of human learning, which has benefited me greatly as I transitioned to the role of mom and homeschooling facilitator. As a school psychologist,…

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Why Children Like Repetition, and How It Helps Them Learn
Parenting

Why Children Like Repetition, and How It Helps Them Learn

Doing things over and over again might help children learn new things. “Again!” My 4-year-old son Edwin likes to yell over and over again when he finds a new activity or joke that he likes. My 16-month-old, Charlie, likes to repeatedly throw objects on the floor from his high chair or even against the wall if it makes an interesting sound.…

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Why Transcendence Cannot Be Quantified
Parenting

Why Transcendence Cannot Be Quantified

Here’s my family scene from a couple of months ago: My wife and I were at the airport waiting for a flight to go to New Mexico for a skiing trip. This would be the first time that our three boys (ages 7, 12, and 15) had ever gone skiing, so they were quite excited. As we waited for our…

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Leaning on Others to Become More Independent
Parenting

Leaning on Others to Become More Independent

Who teens rely on for help may predict when they reach milestones of adulthood. Moving out, getting a job, and meeting the responsibilities of daily life are generally seen as key markers of becoming an independent adult. But in order to reach these milestones of independence, research shows it may actually be important for teens to learn how to first…

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Our Difficult Daughter
Education, Parenting

Our Difficult Daughter

I couldn’t accomplish the simple things that came easily to others: marriage, motherhood The first person to learn that I was pregnant was my partially deaf, doddering 80-year-old father. I would imagine that, after learning she is pregnant, a woman first announces the good news to her partner or her mother. But I had neither. A year and a half…

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