Developmental science is so cool! How is that for an academic introduction? I love the creative ways that we can observe the wonderful world of cognitive, emotional, and social development. Who cares about a little picture of the developing brain?

Creative researchers have found tasks that challenge really young kids to show their stuff beyond their amazing feats of physical growth and change. Using clever tasks and smart observations, these scientists can show the small strides and big leaps that children take on the road to becoming adults. It is fascinating.  Okay, brain science and imaging also are cool. The progress of one is dependent on the other. Still, using behavior to demonstrate differences — in very complicated mental tasks — and then showing that individuals differences in these early skills predict differences in later skills captures my imagination. It sends me off into the streets practically bursting with the news that children are amazing and trying to get everyone else excited about facilitating their child’s natural progression.

In Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs Ellen Galinsky set out to bring the science of learning from laboratories to families and teachers. The book presents research into core learning skills and exercises to help you help your child develop these skills.

One of the most entertaining things to do is to watch the videos. If you follow the link to the book above (  http://mindinthemaking.org/learn_more/ ) on the right hand side of the page it says: Have you seen the Marshmallow Test? Clicking that link will bring you to a UTube page of some of the research in the book. In the video of the Marshmallow Test look for all the really smart things that the kids do to support themselves. They use words and actions to self-regulate. They are trying so hard!  (A word to the non researchers out there: the only way they could have done this study was if at the end all the children had the same compensation).

A knowledgeable parent is a safe parent. Kelly