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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 C Nagel is an Associate Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast where he researches and teaches in the areas of child and adolescent development, behaviour and educational psychology. A prolific author, Dr Nagel has written seventeen books related to human development and education with particular interests in the developing paediatric brain, behaviour and learning. Along with being a contributor to a number of textbooks used in over 20 countries and in undergraduate and postgraduate education courses throughout Australia, Dr Nagel has been nominated as Australian Lecturer of the Year each year since 2010 and has been an invited expert on TV New Zealand Breakfast, Sunrise, A Current Affair and The Project. When he is not busy professionally, he spends his time learning the important lessons of life from his own children, Madeline and Harrison. 

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!