069: Reducing the impact of intergenerational trauma

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Ever get red-hot angry at your child for no reason, or out of proportion to the incident that provoked it?  Have you wondered why this happens? The way we were parented has a profound impact on us – it’s pretty easy to ‘fall into’ parenting the way you were parented yourself unless you specifically examine…

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068: Do I HAVE to pretend play with my child?

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Pretty regularly I see posts in online parenting groups saying “My child loves to pretend, and they always want me to participate.  I dare not tell anyone else, but I CAN’T STAND PRETEND PLAY.  What should I do?” In this final (unless something else catches my interest!) episode in our extended series on play, Dr.…

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067: Does the Marshmallow Test tell us anything useful?

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The Marshmallow Test is one of the most famous experiments in Psychology: Dr. Walter Mischel and his colleagues presented a preschooler with a marshmallow.  The child was told that the researcher had to leave the room for a period of time and the child could either wait until the researcher returned and have two marshmallows, or…

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066: Is the 30 Million Word Gap real?

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You all know that on the show we pretty much steer clear of the clickbait articles that try to convince you that something is wrong with your child, in favor of getting a balanced view of the overall body of literature on a topic. But every once in a while a study comes along and…

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065: Why storytelling is so important for our children

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“Storytelling? I’m already reading books to my child – isn’t that enough?” Your child DOES get a lot out of reading books (which is why we’ve done a several episodes on that already, including What children learn from reading books, How to read with your child, and Did you already miss the boat on teaching…

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064: Compassion (and how to help your child develop it)

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“Social and Emotional Learning” is all the rage in school these days, along with claims that it can help children to manage their emotions, make responsible decisions, as well as improve academic outcomes. But what if those programs don’t go nearly far enough? What if we could support our child in developing a sense of compassion…

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063: How family storytelling can help you to develop closer relationships and overcome struggles

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“How much can there really be to learn about storytelling?” I thought when I started on this mini-series. It turns out that there’s actually quite a lot to learn, and that family storytelling can be a particularly useful tool for parents.  We’re all trying to figure out how to transmit our values to our children,…

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062: Why we need to let our kids need to take more risks

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We should protect our children from risks, right?  Isn’t that our job as parents? This episode comes mid-way in an extended series on the importance of play for children.  The first episode in the series was an interview with Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play on the value of play, both for…

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061: Can Growth Mindset live up to the hype?

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Growth mindset is everywhere these days.  Dr. Carol Dweck’s research showing that a growth mindset can help children to overcome academic struggles is being incorporated to curriculum planning across the U.S. and in many other countries, and school districts in California are even using it to evaluate schools’ performance.  I get ads popping up in…

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060: What do children learn from reading books?

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We’ve done a couple of episodes on reading by now; episode 3 (which seems so long ago!) asked whether you might have missed the boat on teaching your toddler to read.  Of course, we know that you’ve only missed the boat on that if you think that sitting your child in front of a video so…

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