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 nurture your child, and yourself, 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, phases and choices that seem mysterious become visible.


huge tall redwoods, little people climbing on themThe sense of awe has a quick and striking impact that increases positive emotions and supports physical health. This article discusses recent research explaining why awe improves our mood so quickly.  Plus we then suggest how to help your child get a boost of awe when his or her mood is failing. Read it here.




two overlapping speech bubblesOne great thing you should do with your child. There’s a very simple “secret” to supporting your child’s cognitive, social and emotional development and even boosting brain development. It’s natural and it’s easy. If you do just one thing, you may want to make it this. Discover what really makes a difference in this important new article.



sunflowerLearn more about the power of resilience and gratefulness. This beautiful personal story by Margaret Wakely reflects on how her own natural resilience led her through some very difficult, heart wrenching experiences as a child and as a mother, and how, when her resilience slipped, a simple gratitude practice enriched her life and shifted her perspective from overwhelmed and unfair back to positive. Find it here.



photo of book jacket

Book Review: The Yes Brain by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. Published a few weeks ago, this book provides a wealth of information coupled with practical techniques that help children engage well with the world and learn strategies to tame both uncontrolled arousal (that can lead to explosions) and emotional shutdowns (that can lead to withdrawal). It also supports the development of parents’ own emotional skills. The work is well grounded in accurate neuroscience, positive psychology and development science. Read the review here.


green angry emoji alienDo your kids like playing on-line games but end up having cyber melt-downs sometimes? Here’s what you need to know. There’s a reason for those melt-downs — it has to do with a conflict between the way on-line games are designed to get more challenging the longer we play and the way children naturally play off-line games. This article explains what’s going on and how you can help your child play on-line without the meltdowns. Find out here.



scraple letters spell out positiveWhat’s “Positive Parenting???  The huge number of sites and books that promote positive parenting can be daunting.  It’s hard to figure out what the key ideas and strategies are and sometimes parents feel overwhelmed trying to apply al the advice.  And it’s very difficult to know which sources are reliable.  Here’s your primer on positive parenting. This article gives you a quick accurate overview of how positive parenting developed and lists the key insights, plus some suggested links and references.  Find out what positive parenting is here.





~ Instant Insight ~

Nature Restores Us In Many, Many ways

Classrooms, work and urban environments require us to focus attention and block out distractions.   It’s mentally exhausting and causes physical and mental fatigue in children and adults. Being in nature has the opposite effect. It encourages a kind of open, less focused attention called, “undirected attention.” We experience that as pleasurable, positive and calming. Nature restores fatigued brains.

Earth day is Sunday, April 22. Here are 8 more reasons to get out and enjoy the earth.

Nature …..

  1.  Offers endless opportunities to discover, experiment and explore. It nurtures creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
  2. Calms and de-stresses socially as well as cognitively, in part through chemicals released by plants called enthogens, that help people feel more connected with the world and with others.
  3. Helps us heal more quickly. (Did you know that patients in hospitals with windows looking onto greenery recover more quickly from surgery and need much less pain medication than those with windows looking onto man-made structures?)
  4. Encourages mindfulness (noticing and observing little creatures, bugs, plants and the like brings us into present moment awareness, the heart of mindfulness)
  5. Invites physical activities like skipping, running, jumping, climbing…
  6. Calms eyes that have been staring at computer screens and helps children recover from the temporary myopia (short-sightedness) they get after screen time.
  7. Exposes us to bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae, which triggers the release of serotonin. That feel-good neuro-transmitter also enhances cognitive skills and resistance to stress.
  8. Reduces symptoms of ADD/ADHD





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).