This question has been on our minds as we analyze the effects of a recent home visit program implemented by the Nicaraguan government (results forthcoming, stay tuned!). The Nicaraguan intervention, like most home visit programs, targets children’s first and arguably most important teachers: their parents. The curriculum aims to strengthen parents’ knowledge of early childhood … [Read more...] about Can we really change parenting behavior?
Early Childhood Development
Have you ever smiled back at a giggling baby or played peek-a-boo with a toddler? Did you know you were helping build connections in that child’s developing brain? At the Center on the Developing Child, we call these responsive interactions “serve and return” because they go back and forth—like players with a ball in a game of tennis or volleyball. … [Read more...] about Serve and Return: How to Build a Child’s Brain in 5 Easy Steps
Ansumana sat listening intently to her teacher before playing happily with her friends when I met her earlier this year. Just three years old, she and her older brother Bandu are students at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) early childhood class serving urban refugees in Kampala, Uganda. Their father, whom I spoke briefly with, told me they fled the Central African Republic … [Read more...] about An Early Start in the Most Challenging Circumstances
If you're like many people, “nudging” is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “behavioral economics.” For example, "nudging" can help families eat healthier by making fruits and vegetables the most prominently featured item in the grocery store. Nudges and other types of low-cost tweaks to policy design have had some impressive impacts in Latin America and the … [Read more...] about How Nudges can Help Improve Adult-Child Interactions
I am often told by my colleagues and friends that I am too harsh on myself and that I should have more self-compassion. I used to be quite unfamiliar with this concept. Self-compassion? Isn’t this a term people use to find excuses for themselves and be self-indulgent? … [Read more...] about Put on Your Oxygen Mask First: How Self-compassion Improves Child Development