Jun 20, Authoritarianism: How does it affect children?

Authoritarian parenting: What happens to the kids? Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas © 2010-2017 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved The authoritarian parenting style is about being strict and stern. It insists on unquestioning obedience, and enforces good behavior through threats, shaming, and other punishments. As defined by psychologists, it's also a style associated with less parental warmth and responsiveness (Baumrind 1991). That doesn't bode well for a child's health outcomes, especially if she's growing up in an otherwise stressful environment. As I note in this article, studies suggest that responsiveness and warmth can protect kids from the effects of toxic stress. But what about other things -- like behavior problems? Social Skills? Emotional well-being? Academic achievement? If authoritarian parents are demanding, doesn't that at least suggest they'd produce kids who are better-behaved and more successful in the classroom? Surprisingly..
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Jun 14, Understanding working memory in children

Working memory in children: What every parent needs to know © 2010 - 2017 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Working memory, also known as WM, is a bundle of mechanisms that allows us to maintain a train of thought. It's what we use to plan and carry out an action -- the mental workspace where we manipulate information, crunch numbers, and see with our "mind's eye" (Cowan 2010; Miller et al 1960). Can you add together 23 and 69 in your head? Remember a list of grocery store items without writing them down? Recall the seating arrangements of a dinner party after a brief glimpse at the table? These tasks tap WM, and whether or not you succeed depends on your working memory capacity, or WMC. People with larger capacities can juggle more information at once. This helps them process information more quickly, and the benefits are well-documented. People with higher-than-average WMC are more likely to excel in the classroom. For example, when researchers have tracke..
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Keep Kids Safe Online: 5 Tips for Parents

Home / Technology & Kids / Keep Kids Safe Online: 5 Tips for Parents Keep Kids Safe Online: 5 Tips for Parents Posted June 2, 2017 by Maile Timon View Comments As your children grow up, technology will become an increasing part of their world. While every parent hopes their child will never encounter inappropriate content, cyberbullying or online scams, these dangers are out there. Luckily, there are certain steps you can take to promote online safety and help your children have a positive online experience. Here are five things you can do to keep kids safe online. Online Safety Tip #1 Keep Electronics Out of the Bedroom It’s hard to keep kids safe online if s/he can use the Internet behind closed doors. Keep the computer in a communal area so you can monitor your child’s activity. Even if s/he complains, remind him or her that you’re not snooping, but looking out for their safety. Besides computers, don’t allow your children to keep other e..
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Parenting Tip: Manage Children’s Frustrations by Changing the Mood

Has your child ever protested or refused to get ready to go when you tell him it is time to leave a friend’s house? This can be a very annoying – not to mention embarrassing – situation be in. When it happens, parents often don’t know how to respond. The following tip can be useful in these situations: Manage your children’s frustrations by changing their mood while still insisting that they cooperate. The first thing you can do to ease some of the tension is acknowledge your children’s frustration and disappointment. That doesn’t imply giving in, it simply means listening and mirroring back what your children are feeling. Sometimes that’s all children need to hear in order to feel less frustrated and do what they are asked to do. In the above situation, you could say,“I see that you are having such a good time and you don’t want to leave yet.” If that doesn’t do the trick, you can give your children their wishes in fantasy. “I bet you wish you could stay at Davey’s house all nig..
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