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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

Rough and tumble play with girls

My husband plays very rough with my 3-year-old daughter. But one day I wanted to see him amusing my little daughter and find him swinging her upside down by the ankles, I got a little nervous when I saw her hanging like that, but I smiled when I saw that she was enjoying it and hearing her laugh, so I did not say anything, but whenever he plays with her, he hangs her upside down surprising her at some point. She loves it but I don't know if that's okay.

When is rough play too rough?

My 5yr likes to engage in rough play but it seems to turn into him on the ground with the others boys focusing on him eg light kicking or putting their foot on his arm. I think this is too rough and looks vindictive and mean. When my husband stepped in and said it was getting too rough our son was extremely upset to stop the situation saying he wanted to continue. I am confused I am worried the other boys are turning on him and it is a form of bullying? Any ideas?

My baby is not getting enough sleep

I’m worried my baby is not getting enough sleep, or proper awake time. Night time sleep is going ok. Not so much in daylight hours though. We spend hours trying to go to sleep, then have to get up for the next feed without having slept at all. He doesn’t really cry when put in bed, mostly grizzles. I try patting, rocking, white noise, dim lights, wrapping. Then he gets over tired and sometimes frustrated. Help!