Welcome to Insights For Parents

You already know a huge amount about parenting and about your child. You probably know more than you realize.  Insights For Parents is here to inspire you as a parent.  This is a unique “state-of-the-art” website designed to help you build confidence and insight as a parent. It offers accurate current information from the developmental sciences to describe and explain important facts and processes of human development from birth through adulthood and combines these with strategies, guiding principles and practices for supporting development and for parenting with deep understanding. It also encourages you to nurture yourself and become ever more aware that development is a lifelong process!

How the insights you gain here will support you …..

You’ll be more confident as a parent when you understand how your child thinks, feels and acts as he or she grows.

  You’ll learn wonderful, effective ways to guide development and cultivate a loving, respectful  connection between you and your child.

You’ll be a more thoughtful and skillful consumer of programs, advice and products for children and parents when you know about development and the range of individual variation.

You’ll learn ways to support your own well being and development by tending to yourself as both a person and a parent.

Insights For Parents presents a union of contemporary science and a trove of wisdom from many traditions that together help you guide your child with knowledge and wisdom.

Why a prism?  The banner image on this website is a prism revealing the colorful spectrum of light that we otherwise perceive as merely white light. Similarly, when you understand human behavior and development, many complex processes and phases that seem mysterious are suddenly revealed and visible.




"hello" in many languagesWondering about the “bilingual advantage?”  More and more evidence is being gathered showing that bilingualism may have cognitive and social benefits for children and adults.  Now research published in November in a leading journal, Child Development, suggests some benefits may extend to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  You can read get a quick summary of the bilingual advantage plus a review of this new research here.




little girl with soul-filled expressionHow’s your parenting empathy??? Helping children build empathy is an important topic these days. But how is your own empathy?   Interacting with your child and guiding behavior in ways that center on your child’s perspective promotes many, many good things including self-regulation, resilience, positivity, and, of course, empathy. Check out our new blog.




asian child eating nodlesInfant and toddler nutrition can seem daunting: when to introduce solid food, how much to feed, what’s really important. Our new article summarizes the latest information and presents some surprising facts about the relationship between feeding and over-all development. Read it here.




girls giggling togetherStarting to tell jokes is a big developmental milestone in middle childhood. It shows lots of cognitive skill and opens the way to new forms of social bonding and peer friendships. It even bolsters the social confidence of some children. You can find out when humor emerges and how it changes during childhood. Here’s the link.



father son laughingRead Dr. Anne Dunlea’s warm and insightful blog about how grateful parenting can  expand awareness of what you LIKE about your child bolster your child’s sense of responsibility and self-esteem  lead to more effective, wise and skillful parenting increase mutual respect between you and your child promote your child’s empathy, resilience and overall positivity. You’ll find it featured on the popular international website, “gratefulness.” Here’s the link.  This article is now also available in Insights For Parents, here.



~ Instant Insight ~

A “meaningful” life probably feels better than a “happy” life

Since the late 1990s psychologists and neuroscientists have studied “happiness,” trying to discern why some people are happier than others and the kinds of personal qualities and behaviors that seem to promote a sense of happiness. Happiness implies an easy life, little stress and many good things coming your way. But recent research is revealing that this notion of “happiness” does not bring contentment or even joy, largely because it feels unearned. Instead, living a meaningful life seems to bring a greater sense of life satisfaction and well-being. It’s a better kind of happiness.

A meaningful life is one in which you use your gifts, reach your potential, continually develop and grow. It often means doing something you feel is worthwhile, contributing to a community or giving to others. It is a life lived with purpose.

This has some real implications for how we guide our children. Rather than trying to create an easy life, you may want to help your child cultivate a meaningful life by:

noticing your child’s gifts and helping your child find opportunities to develop them

letting your child experience the value of earning things

building skills of perseverance, resilience and commitment (by not trying to “fix” everything)

helping your child find meaning and purpose, and to devote some time to causes he or she believes in




Unlock our full range of resources for just $25/year

To have full access to everything in the site, please become a member.  We add new material regularly.  Our ongoing series of articles about human development and family well-being is written by experts in the field.  You’ll also find summaries of interesting new research, reviews or books, links to resources, meditations, personal practices, and all of the Guiding Principles.  Without a membership, you can only view some of the material.

This small subscription fee allows us to operate without annoying ads and pop-ups

To join, please go here.


Weekly MicroPractices are ideas for things you can do during the week to support or nurture your child or yourself. They invite you to explore and be curious. Some are activities to share with your child, some are activities just for you, some are strategies for guiding development, some are thoughts for tending to yourself. Each week you’ll find something new to try. You’ll find them at the bottom of our home page (right next to our quote for the day).