Today's Parent – Why your toddler’s “no!” phase is so important (and how to survive it)

February 12, 2018

Our very own director of the lab, Dr. Cindy Huang, shares some insight on the importance of "no" in toddlers:


"... make no mistake about it: A 'no' is also meant to test you. Will you give in? Will you put your foot down? It’s a mystery to your toddler! 'The way parents respond to limit-setting behaviors is how young children learn,' explains Cindy Huang, Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. 'They learn rules about their own behaviors and how to navigate the complex social world around them.'

And that newfound voice of theirs? It also helps them set their own limits so that they forge healthy relationships and even protect themselves from sexual assault. 'If a child doesn’t want to be hugged or kissed by another child or adult, their ‘no’ should be respected and listened to,' says Huang. It’s crucial that we understand the context for the ‘no.’'

There’s a lot wrapped up in that little two-letter word—and it’s all really important."

Read the full article here!


Teachers College Smarter Parenting and Grandparenting Series

May 9, 2017

Youth Mental Health: Knowing When to Help and How

Mental health can be a tricky topic for parents. What signs do we need to look for? When do we help, and how? Dr. Cha and Dr. Huang--faculty members in TC's Counseling and Clinical Psychology Department and co-directors of the The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Project (CAMHP)--gave a talk in May 2017 to provide an overview of mental health issues for children and adolescents, and discuss practical ways for parents to effectively address mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and self-harm. In addition, Dr. Cha and Dr. Huang discussed key research on these topics and offer parenting resources, with the ultimate goal of fostering well-being both within and beyond childhood and adolescence.