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Analysis and Comment (14)

For kids (and big kids), Lego can enhance learning. So what happens when the blocks are digital? For kids (and big kids), Lego can enhance learning. So what happens when the blocks are digital? Steven Andrew/Flickr

‘Digital play’ is here to stay … but don’t let go of real Lego yet

Playing with building blocks such as Lego has been an established part of early childhood education for many years. Educators and theorists agree that building blocks or constructive play provide a wide…
You can tell me anything. You can tell me anything. Mother & son image via Shutterstock

Bonding with your child matters for their life chances

The idea that parenting matters for early child development is now widely accepted. We also now know a great deal about the role of parenting in social inequalities in development. Parents with more resources…
Making words make sense. Making words make sense. Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Don’t let reading wars hold back more able children

Some children arrive at school already able to read. They have enjoyed books with their parents and understand the exciting route that reading takes them into the wonderful world of stories. They may well…
A debate over whether children should be forced to say ‘sorry’ misses the point. A debate over whether children should be forced to say ‘sorry’ misses the point. Child image from www.shutterstock.com

Teach children to say ‘sorry’: why the word is only the first step

Lawyers have conniptions whenever they hear it, Parliamentarians routinely avoid using it, and all over the world, people have arguments about who should say it first. The latest grumblings about the humble…
Why don’t we have universal access to early childhood education? Why don’t we have universal access to early childhood education? Flickr/Phyllis Buchanan

A more sustainable Australia: closing gaps in childhood inequity

A more sustainable Australia As the 2013 election campaign continues, we’ve asked academics to look at some of the long-term issues affecting Australia – the issues that will shape our future. Looking…
Children’s brains are plastic and sensitive to their environments. Children’s brains are plastic and sensitive to their environments. annagarcia

Nature and nurture: why do boys and girls behave differently?

New evidence is emerging that confirms what parents and children have reported for generations: boys and girls behave differently, and parenting practices vary depending on the gender of the child. Boys…
Children should be taught to play music themselves rather than just listening to it. Children should be taught to play music themselves rather than just listening to it. Naruco

Monday’s medical myth: play Mozart to boost your baby’s IQ

What parent can pass up the chance to boost their child’s intelligence by putting on some nice classical music? The popular idea that IQ scores can be raised by listening to Mozart is a case study in how…
Quality relationships and time spent together is what’s important when it comes to children’s wellbeing. Quality relationships and time spent together is what’s important when it comes to children’s wellbeing. Flickr/disgustipado

Shared parenting: what’s really important when dads move out

The media often blame a lot of society’s problems on the break down of traditional family structures and the increase in single parent homes. When fathers no longer live at home, policy makers focus on…
Being overweight or obese can increase a teen’s risk of developing a number of diseases. Being overweight or obese can increase a teen’s risk of developing a number of diseases. Cindy Shar-pei

Monday’s medical myth: don’t worry, kids will grow out of their ‘puppy fat’

Picture this common scenario: A mother is worried about the size of her 13-year-old daughter, who appears quite a bit heavier than the other students in her class. But the mother is reassured by her friend…
Antidepressants double the chance of a young person making a suicide attempt. Antidepressants double the chance of a young person making a suicide attempt. Flickr/kamera kz

The hidden side of antidepressants: are they putting young lives at risk?

In early 2009, two 16-year-old Queensland girls tragically hanged themselves within weeks of each other. The girls' lives were plagued with abuse, self-harm and illicit drug use, and their deaths raised…
Inward-facing prams allow for more interaction with infants but parents shouldn’t feel guilty about what equipment they have. Inward-facing prams allow for more interaction with infants but parents shouldn’t feel guilty about what equipment they have. skeddy in NYC/Flickr

Misquoted: how an innocent interview about raising babies led to hate mail

A seemingly harmless interview with a journalist in the lead-up to a public lecture has unleashed a torrent of abuse about my view of one aspect of raising infants. I take some responsibility as my use…
The benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks by 100 to one. The benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks by 100 to one. Jeff Dickerson

Male infant circumcision: ‘safe, convenient, cheap and fast’

Medical circumcision of baby boys has plummeted in Australia, with only 20% of male infants now undergoing the procedure, down from 90% in the 1970s. Meanwhile, HIV infections continue to rise in the broader…
Problems come when bodies change and brain development doesn’t keep up. Problems come when bodies change and brain development doesn’t keep up. Flickr/zebra404

Twelve going on 20: are girls reaching puberty earlier?

You just have to turn on the television or catch a glimpse of a magazine newsstand to see how girls are being thrust into adulthood earlier and earlier. But does biology match societal change? Are girls…
A blanket approach to improving outcomes can’t work for such a diverse and dispersed population. A blanket approach to improving outcomes can’t work for such a diverse and dispersed population. AAP

Same-old, same-old: report shows Indigenous children still being left behind

The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report – Headline Indicators for Children’s Health, Development and Wellbeing 2011 – shows Indigenous children, as well as those living in remote areas…

Research and News (4)

Research Briefs (10)

Kids learn how to be mean from TV

Preschoolers learn how to be mean from children’s television. Researchers from the US examined how children interacted in…

Child hunger level underreported

A new study has shown that addressing child hunger at an individual and family level may not be enough, with only 70% of…