Tag: parenting

  • Mister Rogers’ Nine Rules for Talking to Children

    Having not grown up in the US, I only became aware of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as an adult. However, this is entirely due to Fred Rogers himself: his kindness, his humanity, and his ability to draw children into his safe world. In the lead-up to the publishing of The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work…

  • Infants Quickly Learn to Ignore Unreliable and Silly People

    Children learn a lot from imitating the actions of adults, with recent research suggesting that infants as young as 14 months are selective imitators — taking cues from our behaviour in order to decide which of us adults to learn from and which to ignore. In a studyĀ where researchers expressed delight before either presenting an…

  • Child Development: Content, Not Medium, Matters (Why Sesame Street Beats Teletubbies)

    Debates have ragedĀ over the last couple of years on the effects (detrimental or not) of television, computer games (violent or not) and the Internet on a child’s cognitive development. Taking excerpts fromĀ a review article that providesĀ an excellent summary of theĀ topic, Jonah LehrerĀ makes it clear: for a child’s cognitiveĀ development, the medium doesn’t matter but the content…

  • Recognising Drowning and Surviving Cold Water

    Drowning does not look like drowning, and without flotation you will not live long enough to die from hypothermia if you fall into cold water. These are just two warnings from Mario Vittone–long-serving U.S. Navy and Coast Guard expert on maritime safety–writing in the maritime and offshore news site, gCaptain. In the first of two…

  • The Argument for Parenthood

    It is often suggested that having children has a negative net effect on the happiness of the parents. Economist Bryan Caplan disagrees, suggesting that studies have missed the evidence suggesting that parents sacrifice more than they need to and overestimate the long-term effects of parenting on a wide range of child outcomes (including education, morality,…

  • The Evidence on Breastfeeding

    In an article the Royal Statistical Society announced as the runner-up in their annual Awards for Statistical Excellence in Journalism, Helen Rumbelow thoroughly investigates the well-debated subject of breastfeeding. The conclusion of the piece is that much of the evidence in support of breastfeeding is massively misrepresented or inherently flawed. “The evidence to date suggests…

  • The Presence of Books and Children’s Intelligence

    The number of books in your household has more of an effect on your child’s academic achievements than your education or income, a recently published study (pdf) has found. Suggesting that the effects seem to be far from trivial, the conclusion indicates that simply the presence of books in their house can make children more…

  • Fertility, Maternal Age and Child Development

    In suggesting alternatives to the status quo of high-status women delaying childbirth further and further, Robin Hanson notes that, unlike advanced paternal age, advanced maternal age does not correlate with poor learning and social outcomes in children (in fact, older mothers had children who scored higher). In all cases, we find evidence that children of…

  • Choosing a Marriage Partner

    When you’re looking, here are a few tips on choosing a marriage partner to increase your happiness and marriage longevity, from a summary of the research by Eric Barker: There is mutual idealisation: “Spouses who idealized one another were more in love with each other as newlyweds. Longitudinal analyses suggested that spouses were less likely…

  • The Rise of Cooking Shows, the Fall of Cooking (and Happiness)

    I almost ignored this bit-too-long piece on the rise of the TV cooking show and the simultaneous fall of the home cooked meal (via @borrodell). That decline has several causes: women working outside the home; food companies persuading Americans to let them do the cooking; and advances in technology that made it easier for them…