When I'm not reading research, I am a stay-at-home mom to two very active little boys. My days are filled with Legos, sword fights, refereeing squabbles, and trying to keep up with little feet. Like many of you, I'm always looks for resources to help me turn these little boys into responsible, caring adults.
Have you ever wondered if those child development "experts" really know anything that can help us with everyday parenting struggles? Have you ever wondered what all those professors in the academic ivory tower study all day?
The truth is, many of you probably never wondered what those professors really study because you never have the opportunity to read or hear about their research. Years ago, as a graduate student in Human Development and Family Sciences, I realized that most of the great work done in universities never sees the "light of day" because the findings are locked away in academic journals that most of us never read. I remember sitting in class and hearing these great, compelling research findings and thinking it was so sad that most parents would never hear about them.
Thus, the development of The Thoughtful Parent was a result of this frustration. Academic research is often multi-layered and complex. It includes a lot of "grey areas;" the findings are not always clear-cut, black and white. This is why many media outlets just hit the highlights and just go for the "big headline." With this blog, I try to delve into the research and not just cover the "flashy headline." Research is complex, but so is real life, especially when it comes to parenting.
Unlike some blogs directly at parents, I try not to offer too much advice. I do not claim to be a parenting expert, except perhaps with my own children. You are the parenting expert when it come to your own child. You know them best, you know their temperaments, their personalities, and the qualities that make them unique.
Understanding child development research, however, can help inform your decisions with your own children. Research gives you the "big picture" perspective to help balance out the "first-person" perspective you get everyday as a parent in your own family.
Enjoy The Thoughtful Parent!