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Dr Michael Nagel

Dr Michael Nagel

As part of First Five Years’ commitment to evidence-based content, contributing experts are invited to author content that shares their knowledge and experience.

Associate Professor, School of Education, University of the Sunshine Coast

Dr Michael Nagel is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast where he teaches and researches in the areas of cognition, human development, behaviour and learning.

He is the author of thirteen books on child development and learning used by teachers and parents in more than twenty countries. Nominated as Australian Lecturer of the Year each year since 2010, Dr Nagel has been a guest on TV New Zealand Breakfast, Sunrise, A Current Affair and The Project, is a member of the prestigious International Neuropsychological Society, is the Queensland Director of the Australian Council on Children and the Media, sits on a number of education boards and committees and is a feature writer for Jigsaw and the Child series of magazines which collectively offers parenting advice to more than one million Australian readers.

Questions answered by Michael

Strong-willed 3-yr-old pushing boundaries

Hi, I’ve got a 12-week-old boy and a 3 1/2-year-old girl. My girl is very strong willed - and I’m struggling with knowing how to deal with her. She’s had a lot of change recently with a new house and new baby who is very needy - and has recently been pushing boundaries so so far. Not only answering back to me but friends of mine too. When I say to stop doing something she does it again and again. Looking for tips and advice with handling kids like this please

Encouraging 4-yr-old to draw and write

My just turned 4 yr old boy doesn’t like to draw or write. He tells me he "doesn't know how" and won't even attempt it. He has easy access to thick crayons/felt pens and paper at home, but when we sit down to do drawing or colouring, he would prefer to make things with craft supplies (gluing, cutting, etc) or do painting. Our GP said he should be drawing figures with 3 distinct parts and writing his own name by now. Any tips on how to encourage him to take up or even attempt some drawing/writing

2.5-yr-old refusing to go to bed

Over the past week my 2.5 year old is now refusing to go and stay in bed, completely wide awake until 9pm (usual bedtime is 7:30 with his brother). He still has a nap at daycare ( from 1.5 to 2.5 hours. )I’m wondering if there’s some kind of developmental leap or something around this age as he genuinely is wide awake and no matter what we do he’s just not tired?? We follow the same routine dinner, bath, quiet time, book and bed but it’s gone pear shaped!