1: Self-Control-From Tummy Time to Tae Kwon Do
Start by considering physical activities that can contribute to mental development; for instance, the value of getting kids involved in activities that promote self-awareness and self-control such as tae kwon do or yoga. Learn principles of science that should be kept in mind when sifting through the flood of available advice and information about parenting.
2: Seeing, Hearing, Thinking, Learning Infants
Can infants do math? Is there a window of early brain development that-if missed-can doom a child to a life of mediocrity? Explore the wealth of evidence suggesting that even very young infants are seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling beings, and gain tips for creating enriching experiences for your baby....
3: Sleep-Getting Enough "Vitamin S"
Here, get tips for making sure your baby-and you-get all the sleep you need. Learn simple ways to comfort a newborn, methods for training your baby to self-soothe, and measures to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Discover sleep's relationship to cognitive development and the importance of a consistent bedtime.
4: Healthy Eating Habits for Life
How do you get your child to eat vegetables? Gain tips for dealing with finicky eaters, and encounter several studies that have revealed your body can tell you what it needs. Exposure to a nutritious food-even if your child doesn't enjoy it now-increases his or her future desire for it.
5: Baby Talk, Sign Language, and Speech
Teaching your baby sign language can help her communicate long before she speaks her first word. Learn simple signs you can teach your baby, plus other tips for promoting language development, including why you should begin having "conversations" with your baby right from birth and reasons you should use "Motherese" when you do.
6: Shaping Behavior-How Kids and Rats Differ
As you turn to the science of molding the behaviors of children, discover why reward and punishment-while intuitive strategies-can produce less than optimal results. Learn what the research says on why hitting doesn't work as a behavioral deterrent and produces major side-effects down the road....
7: Which Style of Parenting Is Best?
Over time, parents develop a style of interacting with their children that drives moment-to-moment decisions and the children's overall development. Here, the professor presents research conducted on parenting styles and what it suggests about how your own style can affect your child's behavior, social and cognitive development, and even long-term happiness....
8: The Joy of Reading and the Place of Phonics
Get evidence-based tips for teaching your child to read and develop a love of reading, including moving past phonics quickly and reading aloud to your children even after they're capable of reading on their own. Consider whether to use pop-up picture books and how educational television can benefit children in the "prereading" phase.
9: IQ Hazards and Boosting Intelligence
Despite their numerous flaws, IQ tests can influence the trajectory of a child's life. Discover why you should remain skeptical of such assessments while learning how you can give your child an early leg up so she achieves high scores. Also get ideas promoting learning and achievement regardless of test results.
10: Enhancing Your Child's Memory
How is ability to remember several numbers in a row a good predictor of school success? Get an introduction to the principles of human memory function and tips for teaching kids how to make better use of the working memory capacity they naturally possess, including the use of rehearsal, visual imagery, and mnemonic devices.
11: Parent as Teacher-Homework and Beyond
Should you let your child struggle with his homework? Should you allow frequent breaks during assignments? Delve into four research-based tips for helping children successfully complete their homework while actually learning the material, including "scaffolding" for the content and creating an environment suited to studying.
12: Getting a Jump on Math-Without Math Anxiety
If babies can do math-like reasoning at five months, why can math be such a challenge for kids a few years later? This lecture answers that question as it provides evidence-based tips for giving your child a head start in math so you can reduce-or even eliminate-the frustrations many kids experience.
13: Advantages of a Second Language
Studies have shown that children who learn a second language enjoy cognitive benefits like improved memory, creativity, and flexible problem-solving abilities. Should a child learn one language thoroughly before moving on to another? What ages and methods are best for introducing a second language? Discover the exciting research being done in this area.
14: What TV and Video Can and Can't Teach
Which educational television show not only can help kids prepare for kindergarten but has been correlated with higher SAT and achievement scores down the line? Find out here as you learn how TV and other video viewing can enhance or harm children's mental development and physical health at various ages.
15: Values and Pitfalls of Video Games
Can video games boost intelligence and creativity? Can they improve vision and attention? Could they be valuable tools for boosting mental development? In short, are video games good for your child? This lecture considers all sides of this highly active area of research and provides guidance for children's gaming, in moderation, to be very useful.
16: Promoting Persistence and Self-Esteem
Children are born with tremendous optimism and an impressive ability to bounce back from failures. But this optimism typically drops throughout childhood and into the teen years. Grasp the developmental processes associated with these changes and learn ways parents can help kids stay positive, most notably by promoting a good attributional style.
17: Encouraging Cooperation, Sharing, Empathy
Research suggests children are capable of engaging in helping, sharing, and cooperating at far younger ages than was previously thought. Find out what you can do to promote these pro-social behaviors and a sense of empathy, including managing your temper and resisting the temptation to reward your children for doing nice things for others.
18: Peer Conflicts and Social Development
Most parents understand the importance of modeling positive behaviors, but not many realize social competence should be explicitly taught. See how conflict management skills can help kids avoid being bullied, and consider several other topics-from regulating strong emotions to respecting differences in others-that you can teach for your child's social and academic benefit.
19: Maria Montessori at Home for Young Children
In a Montessori classroom, toddlers are encouraged to follow their natural learning tendencies by being active explorers. They're also given some responsibility for maintaining an orderly space. Here, the professor unpacks the evidence indicating this approach can boost mental and physical development; then, he demonstrates how parents can use Montessori methods at home.
20: Schooling and the Montessori Approach
See how the principles and tools of Maria Montessori can be adapted for children age 10 and older. Explore why independent learning that "follows the child" and focuses on a comprehension of the material might be a superior alternative to traditional educational models and letter grades.
21: Physical Development and Education
While physical education is often given low priority, it is a critically important aspect of development and can even boost brainpower. Learn how to foster your children's physical development, from reducing sedentary activities to getting them involved in team sports. Hear alarming information on the dangers of sports that involve repetitive impacts to the head.
22: The Adolescent Brain
Teenagers are notorious risk takers. Understand why the adolescent brain leads to this behavior and learn ways to mitigate the hazards. Discover the four main goals of adolescents-which include both fitting in and standing out-plus strategies for maintaining a trusting, open relationship that will make your teen more likely to disclose important concerns.
23: Becoming a Parent-Scientist
By this point in the course, you've learned to be a good consumer of science. Here, you're encouraged to be a producer of science. Consider research you can conduct with your own family and areas where data collection can determine whether an activity is leading to a desired outcome, such as improved grades or attitude.
24: The Great Values of an Unhurried Childhood
Consider why "encouraging" development shouldn't turn into "hurrying" development. See why it's wise to let children progress at their own pace and discover the things that interest them, in addition to providing ample time for an activity surprisingly crucial for full development: unstructured play.
The human mind remains one of the most mysterious and fascinating frontiers of modern science. Exploring that frontier yields useful knowledge as well as insights about ourselves.