News 2017-06-29T17:44:19+00:00

In the News

No Brakes! The best way to guide your teenager through the high-risk years

February 1, 2010
Research demonstrates that teenagers do not suffer from some special inability to reason. Larry Steinberg and other researchers explain the steep rise in risk-taking behavior that comes with puberty by elaborating the interplay between two brain systems. The social-emotional system, which develops robustly in early adolescence, seeks out rewarding experiences, especially the sensation afforded by novel and risky behavior, and is also activated by the presence of peers. The cognitive-control system, which undergoes its great burst of development in later adolescence, evaluates and governs the impulses of teenagers.
Read More

One Boy, 17 Official Incident Reports and a Better Kind of Discipline

October 5, 2009
In Brooklyn, public school’s been up and running for almost two months now, and I can’t stop thinking about Jmyha Rickman. She’s the 8-year-old Illinois schoolgirl who threw an epic tantrum last year and was hauled out of Lovejoy Elementary in handcuffs. On Facebook, comments ranged from “that kid needs a whupping” to “what kind of crazy racist monsters call the cops on a third-grader?” I didn’t comment. I was too busy freaking out. My boy could be next.
Read More

When Children of Abuse Become Parents

September 26, 2009
It's hard enough for any parent to know what to do when a child acts out. For caregivers who themselves were disciplined with harsh physical punishment as a child, it's even harder. Studies show that one in three people who were abused as children will grow up to become an abuser.
Read More

Plan B: What to do when all else has failed to change your kid’s behavior

September 17, 2009
Let’s say that there’s something you really, really want your child to do: complete toilet training before starting preschool in a few weeks, or eat more than the three P-foods (pasta, pizza, potato chips) he’s currently willing to eat, or take a bath without putting up a fight. Your expectation is reasonable, and you are being as positive, constructive, encouraging, patient, consistent, and gently firm as any parent could be. Well, OK, you lost it once or twice, which is only human, but for the most part you’re doing everything right: diligently practicing the behavior with your child, enthusiastically praising any steps in the right direction and awarding stickers on a chart so masterfully designed that it belongs in a psychology textbook.
Read More

Bullies: They can be stopped, but it takes a village

August 17, 2009
Let’s say you find out that your child is being bullied by a schoolmate. Naturally, you want to do something right now to make it stop. Depending on your temperament and experience, one or more of four widely attempted common-sense solutions will occur to you: telling your child to stand up to the bully, telling your child to try to ignore and avoid the bully, taking matters into your own hands by calling the bully’s parents or confronting the bully yourself, or asking your child’s teacher to put a stop to it.
Read More

I think I’m worried about my kid

May 5, 2009
How do you decide whether to seek professional help in dealing with a child’s misbehavior? Families come to the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic because they were referred by a school official or a pediatrician, because Family Services or a judge ordered them to, or because the parents decided on their own that they needed help managing their children’s behavior. Even if parents are inclined to let a problem fade away on its own, and even if it’s likely to, they’re not always in a position to wait for nature to take its course
Read More

The Messy Room Dilemma: When to ignore behavior, when to change it

March 17, 2009
Thanks to more than 50 years of research, we know how to change children’s behavior. In brief, you identify the unwanted behavior, define its positive opposite (the desirable behavior you want to replace it with), and then make sure that your child engages in a lot of reinforced practice of the new behavior until it replaces the unwanted one. Reinforced practice means that you pay as much attention as possible to the positive opposite so that your child falls into a pattern: Do the right behavior, get a reward (praise or a token); do the behavior, get a reward. 
Read More

No, you Shut Up! What to do When your Kid Provokes you into an Inhuman Rage

February 5, 2009
If you’re a parent, you are probably familiar with being provoked into a blood vessel-popping rage that instantly overwhelms any resolution you might have made to stay calm. That’s because kids are amazingly good at refining behaviors that they can turn to when they’re upset or angry, especially in public, to make their parents even angrier—in fact, insanely angry. Let’s just stand back for a moment and appreciate the virtuosity of the 6-year-old who trails along behind you every morning on the way to school wailing that you’re mean because you make him wear an uncomfortable backpack or wrinkly socks, or the 9-year-old who demonstrates her budding independence and wit by being rude to you in front of others.
Read More

Yale Prof and the Finer Points of a Child’s Timeout

August 16, 2008
The best sellers would have you believe that timeout is a time for your child to think about what he did wrong. But Kazdin says that timeout is simply a period of time in which access to reinforcement is brief. One minute  is plenty, he says. Even five minutes is fine. It was never designed to be an exile to Siberia.
Read More

Discipline for Softies

August 2, 2008
Forget everything you've ever heard about how to deal with kids' bad behavior. According to this leading child psychologist, you don't have to get tough to discipline your kid properly.
Read More