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Archive: Child Development

Blaming parents for the disappearance of play

There are some ideas that just seem so good, so common-sense, that you wonder why there is a debate over them at all. Last week, the Post featured one of those great ideas: getting our young children more time to, well, play. The evidence on the benefit of play is...

By Brian Reid | November 24, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (56)

Why I fear the first bra

My oldest has begun to excitedly ask me when I think that she'll get to 5 feet tall (she has a few inches to go yet). She seems to think that breaking the 5-foot barrier marks some sort of milestone on the progression to young adulthood. I have to be...

By Brian Reid | November 5, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (16)

Anti-TV forces declare victory over Baby Einstein

The anti-TV folks just claimed one heck of a prize: Disney has decided to refund Baby Einstein-buying parents the cost of their DVDs. Though the Baby Einstein refund page doesn't give any context about what drove the decision, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood claimed victory: The refund offer is...

By Brian Reid | October 26, 2009; 07:25 AM ET | Comments (34)

When Saying Yes is the Right Thing to Do

In the single-dad drama "The Boys Are Back," Clive Owen -- who plays a father grappling with the loss of his wife -- approaches most of his parenting decisions by relying on three simple words: Just say yes. He says yes to whatever his 7-year-old boy wants to eat. He...

By Jen Chaney | October 1, 2009; 08:30 AM ET | Comments (22)

The Risks of Unpopularity

Every 5 years, without fail, I traipse halfway across the country to my high school reunion. I go partly to connect with old friends and partly out of the voyeuristic impulse to see how we've all grown up. But the last couple of gatherings have driven home a point that...

By Brian Reid | September 30, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (45)

Turning Controversies Into Teaching Moments

Kanye West, demonstrating that he needs a time-out. (AP) As parents, we all know that sometimes our kids have a hard time keeping quiet. But the past week has demonstrated that even high-profile, grown-up, public figures don't always know when to shut-up. It started last Wednesday with Rep. Joe...

By Jen Chaney | September 16, 2009; 09:15 AM ET | Comments (16)

'NurtureShock' Authors on Research and Practice

Last week, I talked about "NurtureShock:, a new book by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman that seeks to apply emerging science to the practice of parenthood. Though the book is not intended as a how-to, I was curious about how the findings they discussed get put into practice. What follows...

By Brian Reid | September 9, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (31)

Hello (Again)

As Stacey noted yesterday, I'll be leading the charge at On Parenting going forward. It's a huge challenge; Stacey did an incredible job of keeping her ear to the ground for parenting wisdom day after day, month after month, and I'm going to do my darndest to maintain that level...

By Brian Reid | August 25, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (48)

Busting on Barney

Kids love Barney. But how many parents do? (Universal Studios) My 2-year-old daughter learned to sing this past Inauguration Day, and when it comes to music, she's always had very clear preferences. As an infant, she'd cry whenever I'd play Pavement. Recently, in the car, when Run-DMC came on...

By Anne | August 21, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (44)

Pop, the Gender-Free Child

Over on The Post's sister site, Double X, Hanna Rosin and Dana Stevens have contemplated the experiment that one family has embarked on in Sweden. Pop, age 2 1/2, is being raised by 24- year-olds who have decided to keep their child's gender a secret. “We want Pop to grow...

By Stacey Garfinkle | July 1, 2009; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (26)

On or Off the Academic Fast Lane?

By Rebeldad Brian Reid The New York Times Magazine on Sunday published a call to arms against treating kindergarten like, well, school. The author, Peggy Orenstein, suggests that we shouldn't be worrying about standardized testing, shouldn't be thinking about homework and shouldn't even be stressing out about teaching reading skills....

By Brian Reid | May 7, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (39)

In Praise of 'Bad Mothers' and 'Bad Fathers'

By Rebeldad Brian Reid I do love a good parenting tempest in a teapot, so I’m eagerly awaiting Ayelet Waldman’s new book, “Bad Mother.” It’s an expansion of her most famous piece on motherhood, a doozy of a bomb that the New York Times ran four years ago that details...

By Brian Reid | May 1, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (31)

A Friendship That Crosses Genders

One boy, one girl. They've been friends forever, having met at the ripe old age of 6 months. And so far, at age 7, the friendship continues. Sure, the relationship has had its share of bumps. For instance, when boy wasn't invited to girl's princess birthday party because he couldn't...

By Stacey Garfinkle | March 4, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (22)

TV's Not the Big Bad Wolf

Remember that Baby Einstein study a couple of years ago that showed that those baby videos that claim to boost IQ scores did the exact opposite? Well, moms and dads, now you can relax. A follow-up study on television's impact on children under the age of 2 has some good...

By Stacey Garfinkle | March 2, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (19)

Pink vs. Blue: Boys, Girls and the Toys They Love

Which came first: girls' love of everything pink or pink-packaged toys aimed at girls? That chicken-and-egg question is at the center of a small-scale study out of Britain that looks at how toys impact learning by gender. "People might think that toys are more androgynous these days, but go into...

By Stacey Garfinkle | January 12, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (23)

Traveling By Train Alone

Lenore Skenazy is no stranger to criticism over allowing her son independence. Earlier this year, Skenazy started an entire Web site and movement for free-range kids after critics pounded her for allowing her then 9-year-old son, Izzy, to ride the subway alone. Skenazy's movement is back in the forefront this...

By Stacey Garfinkle | January 2, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

Lesson Plan for Parents: How to Play

Good Morning America parenting correspondent Annie Pleshette Murphy sat on the GMA show stage earlier this week surrounded by toys -- a Sorry game, a magic kit, blocks, a little people truck, a pasta maker ... Yes, I said that right, a pasta maker, which she said her son loved...

By Stacey Garfinkle | December 12, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (15)

On the Road to Recovery

Author Jayne Lytel has spent the last seven years focused on one thing: helping her son "recover" from an autism spectrum disorder. Maybe the official term recovery wasn't what she had in mind at the start. But every hour, every bit of research, every decision about his therapies were designed...

By Stacey Garfinkle | November 18, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (5)

When Do Parents Really Need Parenting Advice?

By Rebeldad Brian Reid I was talking to someone about the blog recently, and she asked about the kind of parents we tended to attract. She assumed that we were relatively focused on young parents (or – at the least – parents with younger kids). She had a high schooler...

By Brian Reid | November 13, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (9)

Teaching Charity

The kids have a complicated allowance structure. It started when the oldest started clamoring for every Lego on the face of the planet. Meanwhile, his parents are more the save-and-save-and -save-again types. Half for spending and half for saving, we figured as we started our little lesson on fiscal responsibility....

By Stacey Garfinkle | August 1, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (142)

Are Food Dyes a Problem?

Jacob Kushner was 6 years old when he started having explosive meltdowns. They could last 45 minutes and he'd sometimes break his favorite toys in his tantrums. Three to four times a week, he could become wild and violent, says his mother, Judy Mann. His parents sought help anywhere they...

By Stacey Garfinkle | June 6, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (53)

Playing Favorites

My youngest son is a Momma's boy. He pets my hair singing tunes such as "I love Mommy. I love Mommy's hair." He openly admits to loving Mommy more than Daddy, though he will go through moments of loving Daddy more. My oldest spent his toddler and preschool years completely...

By Stacey Garfinkle | April 10, 2008; 08:44 AM ET | Comments (14)

Back to the Rat Race

By Mike Snyder Well, it's come time to close the On Parenting guest blog chapter of my life, at least guest blogging regularly. I'm going back to work, and I just don't think I'll have the time or energy to continue for now. I don't believe I've mentioned my employment...

By Mike Snyder | March 18, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

Parties and Parents

By Mike Snyder I have a problem with gravity, and I don't mean metaphorically. I'm talking physically. And my gravitational woes appears to be genetic. Saturday afternoon I dropped off my first-grade daughter at a birthday party held at the home of her just-turned-7-year-old classmate. I went in, chit-chatted for...

By Mike Snyder | March 11, 2008; 07:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Test Me, Test Me

Be warned: This is a bit of a rant. I met with my daughter's first-grade teacher a couple of weeks ago to follow up on her progress report from the second quarter grading period. Her grades were fine and she had shown some improvement in some areas. Mostly I wanted...

By Mike Snyder | March 4, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

I'm Scared!

My son is afraid. No, he's not a fraidy-cat -- not everything scares him. But offer him a ride on a Ferris Wheel or a water slide or any other amusement park ride that goes high and forget it. Clearly, we should have remembered that when we bought the family...

By Stacey Garfinkle | February 27, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (37)

The Curse of the Picky Eater

By Mike Snyder Dinnertime at my parents house was more often than not an unbelievable battle of wills. My sister, who is one-and-a-half years younger than I, simply refused to eat most of what my mother prepared. My father would make my sister sit at the table for up to...

By Mike Snyder | February 26, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (111)

SOS -- Save Our Schools

Have we come to grips yet with the budget crises brought on by the subprime/predatory loan crisis? Hardly. That major sucking sound you're hearing is the disappearing tax revenue brought on by falling property values. Its effect on local government services, particularly on school systems, will be felt for years....

By Mike Snyder | February 12, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Languages We Speak

Forget music and gymnastics. The big "is-my-kid-keeping-up" trend these days is all about language; that is, how many languages your child is learning. The New York Times jumped on the trend in an article earlier this week: "If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Spanish." While no one knows how much...

By Stacey Garfinkle | February 7, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (40)

The 'Eli Stone' Controversy

Add the American Academy of Pediatrics to the list of groups opposing an episode of "Eli Stone," a new drama that is scheduled to air on Thursday night. In the episode, the lead character sues a pharmaceutical company on behalf of a mother of an autistic child. The TV lawyer...

By Stacey Garfinkle | January 30, 2008; 07:02 AM ET | Comments (0)

Embracing an Epidemic

By Mike Snyder So, a couple of weeks ago I finally got my son, who just turned 5 years old (Happy Birthday, buddy!), to a pediatric development and behavioral specialist affiliated with Children's National Medical Center. The hour-long appointment went well. My son was fired up and fully engaged, which...

By Mike Snyder | January 29, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Dissing Hannah?

By Mike Snyder I've been a volunteer classroom parent at my daughter's school since she started first grade in September. It's only once a month, for an hour-and-a-half. I help with whatever educational art project the class is working on that week. No experience necessary, thankfully, because if I ever...

By Mike Snyder | January 22, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Mining Resources

By Mike Snyder Last week I decided to get out and about to finally check out the Fairfax County Parent Resource Center in Dunn Loring, Va., which promotes parental awareness of the services provided by the Fairfax County Public Schools for children with special needs and their families. I'm embarrassed...

By Mike Snyder | January 15, 2008; 07:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

No, Kids, I'm Right

By Mike Snyder Happy New Year, Dear Readers! A show of hands, please: Who isn't secretly -- or wide-openly -- happy that the holiday break is over and the kids are back to school? Whew! I love my kids and treasure the familial closeness the holiday respite provides, but sometimes...

By Mike Snyder | January 8, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (32)

Tagging Kids 'Special'

By Mike Snyder Several weeks ago, I posted about opening up to my friends, family and colleagues about the difficulties we were facing in addressing my son's education delays. Since I'd started blogging, I'd heard from a lot of friends about similar issues with their children, things I wouldn't have...

By Mike Snyder | December 18, 2007; 06:30 AM ET | Comments (86)

Trouble With Tantrums

By Mike Snyder Temper tantrums. All kids have 'em (lots of adults, too). How much fun would parenting be without them? We know the mantra: Deep breaths, remain calm, keep your own temper in check, be firm and maintain control of the situation. Time Outs did the job when necessary...

By Mike Snyder | December 11, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Brothers and Sisters

By Mike Snyder I've spent quite a few keystrokes chronicling how we've assessed and addressed our son's early education delays. But I haven't written much about his big sister and only sibling, our six-year-old daughter. My daughter and I have been extremely close since the day she was born. She...

By Mike Snyder | December 4, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Getting With the Program

By Mike Snyder In August, while awaiting the Fairfax County Public School system to schedule an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting to address my son's delays, my wife and I were getting him ready for his start at preschool. We had pre-enrolled him in his sister's Montessori school. Sis was...

By Mike Snyder | November 27, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (13)

Developmental Delays Determined

By late July, my son's final tests with Child Find were completed. As I mentioned in earlier posts, he had done well in some areas but had difficulty in others. However, the psychological examiner noted that "the assessment results might be an underestimate of [his] true abilities and should be...

By Mike Snyder | November 20, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Domestic Discord

As summer began, I took my son for audiological/hearing, functional vision, educational, sociocultural, psychological and speech/language screenings with Child Find. Depending on the exams, the appointments could take anywhere from an hour-and-a-half to half a day. My son appeared to do quite well in some areas, not nearly as well...

By Mike Snyder | November 13, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Support for the Asking

When the Child Find board approved further testing to evaluate my son, my family and I were en route to Maui for my wife's sister's wedding. While there, it often felt like I was alone in paradise. The concerns about my son weren't a topic for group discussion. My wife...

By Mike Snyder | November 6, 2007; 07:10 AM ET | Comments (13)

Questions Unanswered

By Mike Snyder [Author's note: When I approached Stacey about guest blogging about my son's development, my thought had been to construct a chronological narrative of my experiences. I'd like to continue with the narrative (though I'll try to condense it). It might seem tedious and overwrought for people who've...

By Mike Snyder | October 30, 2007; 07:40 AM ET | Comments (35)

When Something's Not Quite Right

A big welcome today to Mike Snyder, who's joining On Parenting as a regular guest blogger. Mike worked many years alongside me at washingtonpost.com and is known in our newsroom as NASCAR man. Always a creative sort, Mike handed candy bars wrapped in birth announcement paper when his daughter was...

By Mike Snyder | October 23, 2007; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (46)

 

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