Child Development Resources

Child Development Resources

On episode 63 and episode 64 we talked to Dr. Nilofer Naqvi, Assistant Professor in Psychology at Iona College, about childhood development, and if you haven’t listened to these episodes, you should! She was gracious enough to also providea wealth of resources you can check out, if you’re in search of a helpful parenting book, you want to know more about raising empathetic kids, or you’re curious about early childhood psychology and theory! Check out some resources below:


Lev Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky & Tools of the Mind

He developed theories on self regulation, control of executive functioning and adaptation of rules into play. To quote the Tools of the Mind website:

“[Vygotsky] believed that just as physical tools extend our physical abilities, mental tools extend our mental abilities, enabling us to solve problems and create solutions in the modern world. When applied to children, this means that to successfully function in school and beyond, children need to learn more than a set of facts and skills. They need to master a set of mental tools—tools of the mind.” For parents, check out this site to learn more about this approach and apply it to your parenting!



Society for Research in Child Research

They are the main research body on young child development. They send out research briefs that are very informative, cover a range of topics and are grounded in the most recent empirical research. Check out their social policy reports, if you want to nerd out, or just read about the research on Ensuring That Multilingual Children Benefit From Best Practices or Raising Healthy Children – Helping Families Support Their Children’s Development, for example.


National Association for the Education of Young Children | NAEYCThe National Association for the Education of Young Children is a professional membership organization “that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8.”  They connect theory, research and practice to support folks who work with this age group, as well as provide resources for parents looking for child care or parenting tips in general. Check out their books too.


american academy of pediatrics logoThe American Academy of Pediatrics is the go-to for all the health related information for children from the newborn stage onwards. Check out their site for parents,, which has age-specific advice. I found their articles about Emotional Development and Social Development helpful.



The author is an anthropologist, so I would imagine she brings an informed perspective to the topic of motherhood. I particularly love this blurb, from Amazon: ” As Hrdy argues, far from being “selfless,” successful primate mothers have always combined nurturing with ambition, mother love with sexual love, ambivalence with devotion. In fact all mothers, in the struggle to guarantee both their own survival and that of their offspring, deal nimbly with competing demands and conflicting strategies.”

The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do by [Harris, Judith Rich]

Thank goodness for books like these that don’t lay children’s behavior solely at the feet of their parents, particularly with the immense pressure already on parents in our modern world, and new challenges like social media that our parents never had to deal with. From Amazon: “Judith Rich Harris has a message that will change parents’ lives: The “nurture assumption” — the belief that what makes children turn out the way they do, aside from their genes, is the way their parents bring them up — is nothing more than a cultural myth.” Check it out – fascinating, right?

The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by [Gopnik, Alison]

Tiger Mother, we’re looking at you. This book seems to turn that mode of parenting and parenting as a concept, on its head, no matter the culture you’re from. Amazon summarizes it this way: “Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Yet the thing we call “parenting” is a surprisingly new invention. In the past thirty years, the concept of parenting and the multibillion dollar industry surrounding it have transformed child care into obsessive, controlling, and goal-oriented labor intended to create a particular kind of child and therefore a particular kind of adult. In The Gardener and the Carpenter, the pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar twenty-first-century picture of parents and children is profoundly wrong–it’s not just based on bad science, it’s bad for kids and parents, too.”


What resource helped you the most?  What did you read that you didn’t find helpful at all?  Tell us!