I’m a professor at Radboud University in The Netherlands working in the Developmental Psychopathology department. I am keeping a blog on our website there along with the rest of my team. The address of that website is http://devpsychopathologyru.nl . My blog and publications can be found here http://devpsychopathologyru.nl/author/isabela/ .
This post will stay at the top of the blog until we're finished overhauling the look and organization of the blog. Check below for new posts! For those of you new to this blog, WELCOME! The blog used to be exclusively focused on children's sleep issues (hence the title, Bed Timing) but we've broadened it now to include all developmental topics. More information about what we're trying to do at this site here and here.
We're changing the name of the blog to Child of Mind: Developmental Science and Everyday Parenting.
Thanks to all of you who suggested titles; this was WAY harder than we anticipated. As many of you know, both Tracy and I are technologically-challenged. As a result, we are getting some talented folks to change the banner and tweak with the blog design for us. In the meantime, we'll still be posting regularly, so please join in the conversations and come back soon!
As you may have noticed, this little blog has been chugging along for a while now (6 months actually), but the posts have become less frequent. In part, that had to do with a crazy summer vacation and work schedule for me. But as I reflect a little more about it, I also feel like I'm at a bit of a crossroads, a juncture, a diverging path, if you will… So, I'm wondering if you guys could help me out by giving me your input.
On the one hand, I've really loved writing this blog. Your comments have kept me sustained and your emails have made this labour of love so fulfilling. When you write a book, there's a weird feeling of emptiness for some of us after the whole thing is done. The ideas get thrown out there and it's very rare to get much input from "real" people, the intended audience, people who have actually READ your work (unless you become rich and famous because THAT'S how good your book was, but, you know, that's not where I imagined this little book would go). Sure, the first month of the "book tour" (which is SO not as glamorous as that sounds in Canada) you get to talk to people that may have read a chapter or two (sales and marketing folks generally) and you get a sense of sales once in a while, but otherwise, there's this disquieting aftermath of… not much. No feedback. This blog has completely changed that for me. It's been really amazing emailing with some of you, chatting through the comments section, and feeling like the ideas in the book have actually reached some people that found the information useful and interesting.
But now, as I said, I find myself at a crossroads. I think that the majority of what I have to say on the topic of how developmental stages apply to children's sleep has been said. Yes, there are nuances that can still be covered through specific readers' questions (and YES! I'm getting to the last batch of them very, very soon… I'm so sorry for the delay.), but there's nothing too novel that still needs to be said. Interestingly, the number of emails I've been receiving has recently started to wane and I suspect that's part of the reason: most of what I've got to say on this particular topic has been said, over there, in one of those categories on the left…
So… what to do? Maybe you guys can help me think about this? Here are a few options:
- Retire the blog (I would leave all the content up, just stop putting up new posts).
- Broaden the focus of the blog. I'm a developmental psychologist and sleep isn't even my primary area of expertise. I could yack on and on about loads of stuff. But would that be interesting to anyone? I have a few hesitations with this option, although it appeals to me in many ways as well. Some of my concerns are: (a) overlapping too much with already fabulous blog content out there on similar issues and (b) being unsure about whether there really is an audience for an "advice" blog on different child development issues. Isn't Dr. Google enough? I don't know…
- If I WAS to broaden the topics that would be covered on this blog, I would most definitely want it to be more participatory. As much as I enjoy listening to myself ramble on and on at times, I DO bore myself to pieces after a while. I could try to figure out ways to construct this space that would facilitate more interactions among readers, but I'd need some help thinking that through. Any thoughts?
- I could just take a "sabbatical" and postpone making any hard and fast decisions. I don't need to decide anything right away, I'm still enjoying the blog writing and responding to your emails, so I can just wait and see…
I'd be thrilled to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to be as honest as you'd like. I really do want to hear any and all feedback, including: oy, enough already. THANKS!
"Real" post up tomorrow morning (sorry for the delay — I have good excuses, but won't bore you with the details).
I wanted to let you all know that I've finally managed to put up a Facebook page for the book/blog. I actually had to JOIN Facebook to put up a page. And then I had to learn that I was far more dense than I ever imagined because although everyone and their kid seems to understand how to post and play and DO THINGS on FB, I suck at it. So, yeah, a bajillion hours later, and I think I finally know how to link blog posts to the page and a few other things. The main reasons I wanted to set up a page were (1) to make it easier for you to share information with your friends, if you're into that sort of thing on FB and (2) to set up a seperate site from this blog for discussion topics to be posted. This second reason is really the most compelling for me. If you go to the page, you'll see I've set up a few Discussion threads/topics. Any "fan" of the page can make up any new topic, on any issue that's relevant to you. Ideally, I want to keep a relatively low profile on these discussion threads because I'd like the discussions to be mostly parents supporting one another through various ages/stages and challenges. Of course I'll be following along and learning with the rest of you, but I most definitely do NOT want to moderate these discussions. I get the feeling (and have received some feedback along these lines) that some people don't feel comfortable posting on the blog because it seems more of a space where my "expert" opinion dominates. I'm okay with that if you are, but I still wish it wasn't so at times. So I thought I'd provide another space that parents can take the info they get here and maybe engage in more in-depth discussion about their own personal challenges, as well as provide fellow parents in the same boat with suggestions that have worked for them.
I'm also very open to any other suggestions about how to use the page. I'm a newbie, like I said, so I suspect there are other ways that connecting in that context could help us all out. Come by and let me know what you think. You can either search for Bed Timing or connect via this link: Bed Timing FB page.
Then just add yourself as a "fan" and away we go!
Now, if you're anything like me, you might have some privacy concerns (which is why it took me so long to join FB in the first place). To become a "fan" of the page, your FB name and whatever picture you have associated with that name will be displayed to other fans. However, NO INFORMATION beyond that will be shared with fellow fans (unless your settings are such that anyone in general can view your information). If you want to remain completely anonymous, I completely understand not wanting to join.
I will still be posting regular blog entries at this site; nothing will change in that respect. Let me know what you think!