Taking On Challenges
The following articles are about Taking On Challenges:
June 17, 2010
By Morra Aarons-Mele
Joseph Campos explains that the role of a parent or caregiver’s non-verbal communication can help your child guide his behavior in an uncertain context. That’s how we learn the rules. How we communicate affects how our child approaches challenges. In his famous “Visual Cliff” experiment, Campos illustrates how babies either forge ahead with a challenge, or hold back, depending on their parent’s facial feedback. Placed on a raised platform, a baby is faced with a “visual” cliff of plexiglass. He is hesitant to crawl over the “cliff,” even to reach an appetizing toy. If his parent gives him an encouraging look or gesture, however, the baby is much more likely to take on the challenge and crawl over the “cliff.” Parents of babies and toddlers face versions of the visual cliff every day. Sometimes, we need to use every available expression and piece of language to prevent experimentation (if, for example, your kid is approaching the stove). But often, the non-verbal interplay between parent and child encourages new learning.
May 03, 2010
By Julie Marsh
My younger daughter lost her first tooth last week.
This is the same daughter who will start kindergarten in August, who’s been riding a bike without training wheels since Thanksgiving, who proudly identifies sight words and spends hours painstakingly creating works of art with any craft supplies she can find. The same daughter who was a newborn when we moved to Colorado, who screamed instead of speaking for her first three years, who consistently hit developmental milestones late and drove me to bury my copies of “What to Expect…” on the basement bookshelves.read more
April 16, 2010
by Ellen Galinsky
April 15, 2010
by Morra Aarons Mele
The leap to toddlerhood is both thrilling and upsetting for a parent. Your baby clearly has a mind of his own: you can see the wheels turning in his head 24-7. Little babies are cute but their repertoire is limited. But for a toddler, each day brings something new to learn.
As a young parent working with Ellen Galinsky on Mind in the Making, I sometimes take the life skills to heart a little too much.
For instance, I breathlessly reported to Ellen that my 14 month old was clearly making connections: when he heard a phone ring, or even the sound of my text message chiming, he put his hand to his ear to mimic the phone. I was so proud of my clearly brilliant son and his ability to make rather abstract connections for one his age: connecting the bell of an incoming text message with talking on the phone. Literally the same day I bragged to Ellen, my husband called to tell me our son had an ear infection and that’s why he was touching his ear!! The mommy guilt I felt was astounding.
But mostly, using the skills in Mind in the Making gives me more joy and patience as a mom. It’s almost as if I have a new language with which to interpret my son’s needs.read more
March 16, 2010
By Amy McCampbell
Last year, the Sears Tower (or, as it’s known by its new name, the Willis Tower) unveiled a glass balcony on its 103rd floor. Visitors get to creep about four feet out from the building…and 1,353 feet high above the city of Chicago.
Some of us on the Mind in the Making team were talking about and just how much it reminded us of an experiment we filmed, UC Berkeley Professor Joe Campos’ Visual Cliff. In it, a baby is placed on a large box that’s covered by a piece of clear plexi-glass. Halfway across, there’s what looks like a drop, though it’s clearly safe to cross thanks to the sturdy platform. On the opposite side of the platform is the baby’s mom, either making a smiling face (signaling to the baby that it’s okay to cross), or a fearful face (which tells the baby to stay put).
You can watch the experiment here.
The experiment is so powerful… you can really see the babies reading their parents to try to figure out what to do.read more