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.




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.This is in our Resource section for members, but we’re making it available to everyone until March 17.  Find out what positive parenting is here.



old fashion control room in power plantNeed six good reasons to let go of your need to control????  It’s hard as a parent not to feel a need to control — we’re responsible for managing everyone’s daily activities and our feelings of love fill us with a desire to protect and help.   And make sure things work out just right.  OUCH!  Sometimes this gets in the way of “living” and can even get in the way of liking your child just as she or he is.  Read Dr. Dunlea’s new blog.


~ Instant Insight ~

Here’s How To Help Your Child Sleep… And Why It Works!!

Very new research in human physiology reveals that children’s eyes let in more light than the eyes of teens and adults. Preschool children are the most light sensitive.   This has very significant implications for sleep.

The urge to sleep is caused by melatonin, a hormone that is carried through the circulation system. Melatonin secretion is triggered by a signal from the optic nerve that comes with declining light. Exposure to bright light suppresses this trigger and can cause the secretion of melatonin to drop by as much as 90%.  Because young children’s eyes actually let in more light than older children, they are even more sensitive to the effect of bright light.

To help your child become sleepy and fall asleep well, physiologists now recommend you create a “cave-like” atmosphere about an hour before bedtime. Dim lights in all areas where children are. The blue light emitted by tablets, smart phones and computers is the worst offender of all, so you may want to have a rule of no electronics when the lights dim. Switch instead to reading books, soft music, talking and playing calm games. (An extra benefit of this is that it encourages face-to-face family interactions and connecting.)  3/16/18

For information on teen sleep deprivation you may want to read our 2-part series on teen sleep.


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).