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052: Grit: The unique factor in your child’s success?

By Jen Lumanlan | Dec 3, 2017

In Professor Angela Duckworth’s TED talk, she says of her research: “One characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success.  And it wasn’t social intelligence.  It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ.  It was grit.” The effusive blurbs on the book cover go even beyond Professor Duckworth’s own dramatic pronouncements: Daniel Gilbert, the…

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051: How to handle social exclusion

By Jen Lumanlan | Nov 19, 2017

“I don’t want to play with you.” “You’re not my friend.” “We’re playing families.  If you want to play, you have to be the dog.” Seems like everyone can remember a time when something like this happened to them as a child, and how much it hurt.  Children still say these things to each other…

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050: How to raise emotionally healthy boys

By Jen Lumanlan | Nov 5, 2017

“Be a man.”  “Boys don’t cry.”  “Don’t be a sissy.” Boys hear these things all the time – from parents, from teachers, from friends and peers.  What does it do to their emotional lives when they crave close relationships but society tells them to keep emotional distance from others? Join my guest Alan Turkus and…

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049: How to raise a girl with a healthy body image

By Jen Lumanlan | Oct 22, 2017

Folks, this one is personal for me.  As someone with an ~ahem~ family history of disordered thinking about body image, it is very, very high on my priority list to get this right with my daughter.  Dr. Renee Engeln, author of the book Beauty Sick, helps us sort through issues like: Should I tell my…

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048: How to read with your child

By Jen Lumanlan | Oct 9, 2017

Waaaay back in Episode 3, we wondered whether we had missed the boat on teaching our babies to read (didn’t you teach your baby how to read?).  We eventually decided that we hadn’t, but given that many parents have a goal of instilling a love of reading into their children, what’s the best way to…

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047: How to raise a bilingual child

By Jen Lumanlan | Sep 10, 2017

Do you have to start teaching a second language from birth?  Does it help to get a nanny who speaks a second language?  Is there any way your child will retain the language you speak even though you’re currently in a country where another language is dominant?  Does learning a second language lead to any…

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046: How to potty train a child

By Jen Lumanlan | Aug 27, 2017

When should I start potty training?  What books should I read?  Can I do it in a day (or a week)?  Do I need stickers (for rewards)?  Does it have to be stressful? I get these kinds of questions pretty often, and I’d resisted doing an episode on potty training because there are so many…

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045: How parenting affects child development

By Jen Lumanlan | Aug 13, 2017

Isn’t it kind of a “well, duh?” that parenting affects child development?  But do we know how?  We know it’s not good to have really big fights in front of the kids, but do spousal quarrels screw them up too?  Are there really links between a family’s emotional expressiveness and the child’s later academic performance?…

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044: How to introduce your child to music (even if you can’t play or sing)

By Jen Lumanlan | Jul 30, 2017

I can’t play any instruments (unless the recorder counts?).  I certainly can’t sing.  But my daughter really enjoys music, and there are a whole host of studies showing how playing music benefits children’s brain development.  So what’s a non-music playing, non-singing parent to do? Dr. Wendell Hanna’s new book, the Children’s Music Studio: A Reggio-Inspired…

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043: How to talk with children about death

By Jen Lumanlan | Jul 16, 2017

The topic of today’s episode comes courtesy of my good friend Sarah, who fortunately hasn’t yet had any reason to use this knowledge, but asked me to do an episode on how to help children cope with illness, death, and grief, so she can be ready in case she ever needs it. Dr. Atle Dyregrov…

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042: How to teach a child to use manners

By Jen Lumanlan | Jul 2, 2017

I actually hadn’t realized what a can of worms I was opening when I started the research for today’s episode, which is on the topic of manners and politeness. It began innocently enough – as an English person, for whom manners are pretty important, I started to wonder why my almost three-year-old doesn’t have better…

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041: Siblings: Why do they fight, and what can we do about it?

By Jen Lumanlan | Jun 18, 2017

Hot on the heels of our last episode on whether only children really are as bad as their reputation, this week’s episode is for the 80% of families (in the U.S., at least) who have more than one child. How do siblings impact each other’s development?  What should we make of the research on how…

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