Do we become empathetic human beings by nature or nurture? Dr. Perri Klass, a primary care pediatrician, explored the topic in "Understanding How Children Develop Empathy," a recent article in The New York Times.
A lot of people set their children in front of the television to watch educational videos and programming — from "Sesame Street" to "Baby Einstein" — with the hope that these shows will help their children to learn. But a new study out last week in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, says these videos don’t actually make kids smarter, and may in fact impede their learning.
New studies and rumors fly almost every week on what (allegedly) causes autism and what "cures" it. At the same time, autism studies (including the frequently-cited Wakefield study linking MMR vaccines to autism in 1998) occasionally get retracted. What's true and what's not? Dr. Perri Klass and Dr. Eileen Costello, pediatricians and co-authors of "Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In - When to Worry and When Not to Worry," distinguish autism facts from autism fiction.
"Time outs" and positive reinforcement have seemed like reasonable ways to discourage or encourage bad behavior in kids for decades. But an advocate for an approach called "unconditional parenting" says these methods are actually bad for children later in life. We speak to author Alfie Kohn, author of the book, "Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason," who practices this philosophy with his own kids. We also talk to pediatrician and mother Perri Klass.
Read Alfie Kohn's article in The New York Times: "When a Parent’s ‘I Love You’ Means ‘Do as I Say’"
"Speaking as a pediatrician, when we talk about using time-out, we're usually not talking about it as a way to encourage parents to be more severe; we're usually talking about it as a way to get through difficult family moments without screaming, yelling, hitting."
—Dr. Perri Klass on using time-outs as an alternative to harsher discipline methods