Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting topics. I bought this a few years ago for my daughter who was having a baby. But I don't think she ever listened to it. I have recently picked it up and listened to it myself. Fascinating stuff. I am enjoying the lectures and happy to say that as a family (so far) we have been doing all the right things with our children. I have stopped saying to my grandchildren how smart they are. Great tips!
Date published: 2020-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent, research-based content I liked this course so much that I bought copies for my children to help with the rearing of my grandchildren. I have a PhD in education, and I was pleased to see a lot of the same current research I frequently quote being referenced in the videos. Good advice, well-presented and thoroughly documented.
Date published: 2018-09-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great contents & more practical advice is expected As a father of a now 2-year old daughter, I went through this course on and off for several months. I found the structure and topics of this course excellent, which cover most aspects that I can think of. The course also brought good insights to what parents typically think about. That being said, I feel the following can be improved for this course (at least in my view): 1. Dr. Vishton could dedicate more in lectures to advice by cutting down the explanation of evidence part. In some lectures the evidence part was discussed in great details however upon knowing what's important the viewers didn't get detailed action plans. An example is lecture 9 on IQ. Dr. Vishton spent much effort debating the current IQ system, and towards end of lecture he offered several pieces of advice of how to prepare kids for the IQ system however didn't offer much insights as to why. 2. I wish there were dedicated lectures on the importance of education on art and music. There are dedicated ones for 2nd language, math, etc. but music and art are seen as important for children's cognitive developments. Overall I feel the course is well structured and Dr. Vishton presented a lot of studies to illustrate his points so it stays on track with the title.
Date published: 2018-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Also great for raising grandkid As a frequent babysitter, it is great to learn and relearn about raising chidren.
Date published: 2018-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lots of great ideas and strategies for raising kid Another great course from The Great Courses. I wish I had consumed this when I was raising my kids. They are now raising my grandkids. There are lots of great ideas and strategies for raising happy and healtly kids. I can't wait to share the course with my kids.
Date published: 2018-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Educational - I Hope I actually bought this for my brother-in-law who is expecting their first child this summer. It is a X-Mas present so I have not seen it. I know when I had my first child I wished that they came with instructions and so I hope this helps. Someone asked me why not get it for the sister-in-law and I said "You can't tell a new mother anything about babies. They seem to come per-programed. It's the fathers who need help." I have never been disappointed in Courses from this Company and therefore expect the best and based on previous reviews, I trust this is another winner.
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life Cycle in Retrospect This well organized presentation by Professor Vishton gives the full range of cause and effect for the little ones in our charge as well as an intimate recall of the child within each of us. The series paints a portrait of human child development in terms we can relate to as we look back to our own childhood experience and to those loved ones who allow a second perspective of the common core, the child within. It is also a parenting primer that contains useful tips and suggested resources.
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative and easy to understand Great info! I hope we can implement the knowledge we learned in the process of kids upbringing. I also hope that no new studies will come out to essentially erase all what thought is true up to now about raising kids...hhhh. But great lectures
Date published: 2017-06-04
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Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive
Course Trailer
Self-Control-From Tummy Time to Tae Kwon Do
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.

33 min
Seeing, Hearing, Thinking, Learning Infants
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....

31 min
Sleep-Getting Enough "Vitamin S"
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.

30 min
Healthy Eating Habits for Life
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.

30 min
Baby Talk, Sign Language, and Speech
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.

33 min
Shaping Behavior-How Kids and Rats Differ
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....

28 min
Which Style of Parenting Is Best?
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....

32 min
The Joy of Reading and the Place of Phonics
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.

32 min
IQ Hazards and Boosting Intelligence
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.

33 min
Enhancing Your Child's Memory
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.

32 min
Parent as Teacher-Homework and Beyond
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.

31 min
Getting a Jump on Math-Without Math Anxiety
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.

33 min
Advantages of a Second Language
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.

34 min
What TV and Video Can and Can't Teach
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.

33 min
Values and Pitfalls of Video Games
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.

32 min
Promoting Persistence and Self-Esteem
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.

33 min
Encouraging Cooperation, Sharing, Empathy
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.

31 min
Peer Conflicts and Social Development
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.

34 min
Maria Montessori at Home for Young Children
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.

31 min
Schooling and the Montessori Approach
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.

31 min
Physical Development and Education
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.

34 min
The Adolescent Brain
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.

32 min
Becoming a Parent-Scientist
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.

33 min
The Great Values of an Unhurried Childhood
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.

35 min
Peter M. Vishton

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.


Cornell University


The College of William & Mary

About Peter M. Vishton

Dr. Peter M. Vishton is Associate Professor of Psychology at The College of William & Mary. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Science from Cornell University. Before joining the faculty of William & Mary, he taught at Northwestern University and served as the program director for developmental and learning sciences at the National Science Foundation. A consulting editor for the journal Child Development, Professor Vishton has published articles in many of the top journals in the field of psychology. Among these are Psychological Science, Science, and the Journal of Experimental Psychology. He is also the creator of the DVD What Babies Can Do: An Activity-Based Guide to Infant Development. In addition to teaching, Professor Vishton devotes much of his career to researching the perception and action control of both infants and adults. His studies-funded by prestigious institutions, including the National Institute of Child Health and Development and the National Science Foundation-focus on cognitive, perceptual, and motor development; visually guided action; visual perception; computational vision and motor control; and human-computer interface. Professor Vishton has presented his findings at numerous conferences and invited talks throughout the United States and Europe.

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