Archive | Development

Nurturing your child’s developmental potential.


Within Western cultures, self-sufficiency is highly prized. When we talk about children we talk of self-regulation, self-settling, and independence. And when we say, ‘independence’ in reference to children we almost always mean that the children are self-sufficient rather than autonomous. In terms of emotions, there’s a persistent cultural tendency to believe that the earlier children […]

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We all know that we should be reading to our children from an early age in order to foster literacy and grow a life-long love of the written word in our children.  But numeracy and a life-long love of mathematics is arguably just as crucial to our children’s later success.  In fact, as digital natives, […]

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baby with dummy

The instinct to suck is present moments after birth and plays a crucial role in supporting babies’ early growth and development.  Like sexual behaviour, sucking has a predictable developmental trajectory.  It is strongest in infancy and gradually fades as children age.  There are individual differences in the degree to which children suck and how the […]

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Responsive parenting series part 2 This post is the second of a three part series on responsive parenting.  Responsive parenting, in a nutshell, means parenting that is responsive to the signals or cues of your child.  It is warm, caring and on cue.  Responsiveness is often understood within an attachment theory framework (responsive parenting predicts […]

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Science for preschoolers

As a working scientist, I’m keen for my children to grow up appreciating and understanding the sciences.  I want to do what I can, during my daughter’s preschool years, to encourage a love of science. Whether she considers a career in the sciences or in a related discipline or not, I believe that a life-long […]

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Literacy (reading and writing) is a relatively new skill for humans.  The expectation of universal literacy, the idea that all children can and should learn to read and to write, is very new.  But stories?  Stories are ancient.  In fact, stories have probably been around for as long as our species and perhaps even longer.  […]

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The foundations for academic success are built in the preschool years and there is much that you can do, as the parent of a preschooler, to ensure that your child is well prepared to flourish at school.  In order to promote your child’s academic flourishing it is necessary to understand where family and formal education […]

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I let my child climb up the slippery slide.  Of course, I teach her to be aware of the other children playing.  Naturally, I step in to ensure that there are no collisions.  I watch her carefully and ensure she doesn’t fall.  But in an empty playground she often enjoys climbing up the slippery slide […]

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Here’s another phrase that drives me up the wall, especially when it comes out of the mouth of a fellow health professional, “Well, she has to learn to do it eventually”.  This phrase, and the attitude behind it, frustrates me so much because I feel that it drives many parents to expend much valuable time […]

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