Concerned About Unconventional Mental Health Interventions?

Concerned About Unconventional Mental Health Interventions?
Alternative Psychotherapies: Evaluating Unconventional Mental Health Treatments

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jean Talks! Podcast for Center for Inquiry

If you want to hear a podcast discussing myths, mistakes, and misunderstandings of child development, go to

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/jean_mercer_child_development_myths_and_misunderstandings/

where you'll also see the adorable cover of my critical-thinking-oriented book Child development: Myths & Misunderstandings (Sage, 2009).

I had fun being interviewed by Karen Stollznow... now I have to buckle down and do the promised revised version of this book.

If anyone has a new myth to suggest, I'd be interested to hear about it....

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jean! My comment isn't about this podcast specifically (I'm only about 10 minutes into this one - it's great!) but rather an earlier podcast with Parenting Within Reason where you discussed your book. So forgive me for hijacking this post. :)

    On the PWR podcast, you spoke of the myth regarding crawling (specifically the cross-style crawling) and reading (or cognitive development in general, perhaps) and how the correlation between cognitive development and the creeping/crawling stage doesn't necessarily point to a causal relation. My son (9 months old) is close to crawling, in whatever form that might take and I've read this myth in several different places lately. One website that offered creative movement programs for babies and older even suggested moving furniture further apart if your baby tries to pull themselves to standing before they've learned to crawl, pointing to the inherent importance of crawling and brain development. Similar sites talk about putting your baby on their stomach, on a hard surface preferably, whenever they're awake until they learn to crawl.

    Is this myth an example of taking something to an extreme? There's the opposite extreme of babies spending much of their waking hours in infant seats, baby gyms, being held, etc. and not having the opportunity to move their bodies and discover what works and what doesn't. I wonder how much of the crawling/reading type myths develop from an overreaction to that. It seems reasonable enough that if it's good for adults to move around (exercise) often then it's good for babies, too. But perhaps the form that it takes (i.e. styling of crawling) isn't necessarily as important as the opportunity to do so. And maybe this could be extended to playing in general; it's good for babies to explore their world but not so important how they explore it, with special toys or classes, etc.

    In short, does it really matter how your baby chooses to move as much as it matter that they get the opportunity to move and explore at all? Is there any scientific evidence that says "this way" is better than "that way"?

    I hope I'm making sense here - my train of thought has fewer stops now that I'm a mom! :)

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