School & Establishing “Normalcy”: From the Expert’s Blog to You

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Family & Parenting

Foot in the Door: Helping Kids to do Things They’d Rather Not

This piece original posted in Psychology Today on the blog Thinking About Kids
Nancy Darling
Posted Jan 04, 2015

As I’ve written previously, my son frequently lives with severe pain.  He has migraines, one of the many, many things that means for us as a family is that I spend a lot of time trying to get my son to do things he knows he has to do, but doesn’t want to or just plain thinks he can’t.  These things aren’t complicated.  But when I say he doesn’t want to, I mean getting him to do them is like getting a mule up a ladder backwards.  The kid invented passive resistance.  And he’s a master of the active form. 

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Keep Your Middle Schooler Organized

This piece original posted in Psychology Today on the blog Thinking About Kids
Nancy Darling
Posted Aug 02, 2017

Middle school differs from elementary school in many ways – one of the most important, but underestimated, is the increased pressure it puts in kids’ organizational abilities.  Take the above example.  Not only does it show off my son’s not atypical difficulty keeping track of his work.  It also shows up just how COMPLICATED the work is that he has to keep track of.

  • Five courses with six different teachers
  • Due dates of one, two, and four days.
  • Different types of tasks, each needing different types of materials to complete them

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The language of parenting: Legitimacy of parental authority

This piece original posted in Psychology Today on the blog Thinking About Kids
Nancy Darling
Posted Jan 11, 2010

The language we use to talk about parenting tends to evoke strong responses both because parenting and our children are so important to us and because parenting so deeply reflects our values.

Although probably the first systematic study of parenting style was published by Symonds in 1939, research on parenting took on new urgency after World War II.  How had so many people voluntarily participated in genocide?  How had ‘following orders’ come to overrule all other human values?  Where was the balance between raising a good, obedient child and one who could think for him or herself and act based on moral conviction?

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How To Create a Juvenile Delinquent With Materials Easily Available At Home

This piece original posted in Psychology Today on the blog Thinking About Kids
Nancy Darling
Posted Feb 10, 2010

The mom looked down, shocked, at her bare legs and worn underpants.  She was standing at the edge of a crowded gym.  Her 4 year old crowed triumphantly, holding the skirt he had just tugged to her ankles, his eyes on her face and ready to run.

She snatched up the skirt, snagged him by the waist, and strode from the room.

I never saw her again.

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Invading Privacy in the Name of Safety

This piece original posted in Psychology Today on the blog Thinking About Kids
Nancy Darling
Posted May 27, 2015

Privacy is big news.  Or loss of privacy is.

We give away our privacy on Facebook.  The Patriot Act allowed the US government to scoop up phone records en masse, a practice Congress now debates.  And every time we give in to the convenience of swiping a card through a machine, we leave a trail of information that tells someone – businesses, schools, government – where we are and an enormous range of information about our interests.

Since at least the 1950’s, public libraries have refused to release information about what titles patrons borrow, because it tells ‘authorities’ too much about our interests and private thoughts.  Google has no such compunction.

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