Child Development

The key to children’s intelligence and success in school

Moira Eastman | 09 December 2015
Talk to your children from the day they are born—and sooner!

Discerning newborns

Carolyn Moynihan | 03 January 2013
Babies come into the world able to distinguish their mother-tongue.

Kids from mum and dad families do better at school

William West | 11 December 2012
A new study finds that children of heterosexual couples are more likely to progress in primary school than children from a same-sex household.

Parents urged to intervene in teens’ online life

William West | 28 November 2012
Conferences around the world are urging parents and teachers to take a stronger line in young people's digital activities.

Music and baby talk

Mariette Ulrich | 20 September 2012
As one of those moms who started her kids on classical music shortly after birth, I don’t need to be sold on the importance of music, but it’s always nice to have one’s educational priorities validated.

Attention, please

Mariette Ulrich | 13 August 2012
Judging by a glance at the title, this article seems fit for the “patently obvious” files: “Preschool Children Who Can Pay Attention More Likely to Finish College”. But there’s more to it than just that seemingly self-evident observation.

Truth or lies: a parenting challenge

Mariette Ulrich | 23 May 2012
Fibbing is an all-too-common childhood malady that parents naturally desire to curb. No one wants little liars at home to turn into big liars out in society.

Scientists discover why children are often selfish. Really.

Mariette Ulrich | 26 March 2012
A new study suggests that age-associated improvements in the ability to consider the preferences of others are linked with maturation of a brain region involved in self control. No kidding.

The erosion of British childhood

Carolyn Moynihan | 28 September 2011
Sometimes I wonder whether, despite all the reports on “broken Britain”, it is really so much worse, in terms of child and family wellbeing, than any other developed country.

Will SpongeBob SquarePants rot your child’s brain?

Mariette Ulrich | 16 September 2011
I want to reach for the salt shaker when I read words like: “New research on children and television has …” because I know I’ll probably need a few grains to swallow whatever is coming next.

School wants to know how new entrants were born. No kidding.

Mariette Ulrich | 16 June 2011
Once upon a time, all you had to do in order to enrol in school was be 6 years old and toilet-trained. How times have changed. Now they want to know how you were born, and why it happened like that...

Teach kids self-control, say NZ experts

Carolyn Moynihan | 07 June 2011
Experts in New Zealand are singing the praises of cultivating self-control in young children, thanks to new research findings.

Babies made us “the nicest apes”

Carolyn Moynihan | 13 April 2011
Two years ago an American primatologist named Sarah Blaffer Hrdy published a book arguing that human beings evolved as a co-operative species in response not only to the needs of infants but to their charm.

A good start in life

Carolyn Moynihan | 16 March 2011
The best childhood predictor of longevity, it turns out, is a quality best defined as conscientiousness, an eight-decade project reveals.

Are tots really OK when mum goes back to work?

Carolyn Moynihan | 04 November 2010
One of the most studied aspects of childhood in recent decades is early, non-maternal childcare. Research tends to show benefits for a child’s cognitive development but not for emotional wellbeing and behaviour. Now a study has found that youngsters are less likely to succeed at school if their mothers return to work within a year of their birth.

Judge says 4-year-old can be sued for negligence

Carolyn Moynihan | 01 November 2010
How responsible can you expect a four-year-old to be? A lawsuit in Manhattan has raised that question after a judge ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a sidewalk can be sued for negligence.

Kids are ‘interested’ in TV, but so are apes

Carolyn Moynihan | 10 August 2010
I promised something more on Aric Sigman, the (American-born, as it turns out) psychologist who has made a name for himself in Britain as a fiery critic of the way television and other screen media are dominating the lives of children. So here is the next instalment.

Child prodigy’s paintings selling like hot cakes

Carolyn Moynihan | 04 August 2010
Some are born great...and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. The parents of a young English boy must be learning the truth of the Bard's words as people from around the world queue to snap up the lad's paintings as fast as he can produce them.

Don’t you just love babies?

Carolyn Moynihan | 01 June 2010
French film maker Thomas Balmes has found a winning recipe for producing smiles: take four wildly contrasting cultural settings, add four very cute babies, and watch what happens during the first year of their lives. The result is the new movie Babies and you can get the feel of it in a trailer posted on YouTube.

Are babies born moral?

Carolyn Moynihan | 12 May 2010
“Babies know the difference between good and evil at six months, study reveals”. I guess many of us read a heading like this in our daily paper or online this week. Startling news. Here we were, thinking that the newborn babe is a tiny barbarian who needs to learn his first notions of right and wrong from his parents, when he actually arrives with an innate sense of morality. Or so it seems.

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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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