Why Punishment Doesn’t Work (And What Does)

You are driving on the highway.  You are going a bit over the speed limit.   (Okay, maybe more than just a bit…).   In front of you, you see a police cruiser on the side of the road.  Your heart jumps a bit.  Your foot touches the breaks and you slow down.   You pass the police officer unscathed.  Whew!   You feel grateful, and just a little bit afraid of what could have been.  So you start driving more slowly. For about a minute and a half that is. Okay, let’s change the scenario.  Same … [Read more...]

How to Parent with Attitude

David Elkind, the famous developmental psychologist, once wrote that “parenting is an attitude”.   I recall that when I read this statement, many years ago, I didn’t quite understand it.  I had a glimmer of what he meant, but I kept thinking: What type of attitude?  And it can’t just be an attitude, right?  After all, a parent actually has to do something to raise children. I think I understand now what Elkind meant.  There is, as you know, a lot of advice out there, from a variety of … [Read more...]

How to Hold a Baby (It’s Not What You Think)

By James Lucchese When I was in elementary school, our gym glass prepared for gymnastics night.  I remember working very hard to learn all of the gymnastic moves.  The hardest was the one in which you perch your knees on your triceps and balance yourself on your hands.  The night of the big show arrives. The gymnastics performance was a success!  But what would it be this time?  Oh, I see, I was talking during the performance.  “Why can’t you be like…?” My home was hermetically sealed.  No … [Read more...]

Making Learning Fun

by Michael F. Mascolo, PhD There have been some interesting Op-Ed pieces in the New York Times recently about the process of learning. Here are two opposing positions on our recent penchant for “making learning fun”. In Building Self-Control, The American Way (New York Times, February 17, 2013), Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang respond to recent books that offer a critique of American styles of teaching, learning and parenting. For example, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Chau, 2011) provided an … [Read more...]