The Parenting Science news feed alerts you to new postings on the Parenting Science website. It also features commentaries about recent events or discoveries in anthropology, evolutionary biology, psychology, and the popular culture.
If you’d like to subscribe to the Parenting Science news feed, RIGHT-click on the orange RSS button (on the lower right) and paste the URL into your RSS reader.
Alternatively--if you have a personalized homepage with Yahoo, MSN, or Google--you can click on the “My Yahoo," "My MSN," or "Add to Google” buttons.
Don't see anything new?
Click your browser's refresh button to check for recent updates.
By some accounts, soothing your baby to sleep is a bad thing–a tactic that will lead to sleep problems later on. But it depends on your priorities, and even then, the research makes me wonder. The negative effects may be very small, and we have to ask: Are babies reaping brain benefits?
New experiments suggest that even very young babies are hard at work trying to figure out the trick – what you're doing with your mouth, tongue, lips, and larynx to make all those sounds.
You're not crazy, parents. Living with nighttime interruptions really does make a huge difference, one that goes beyond the sheer number of hours you spend asleep.
Recent studies suggests that keyboards have a bizarre effect on our preferences for baby names.
Such research reminds us: Our preferences aren’t as stable or as rational as we suppose. How many other aspects of parenting are influenced by unconscious and irrelevant cultural biases?
A new study suggests that coordinated dance moves might make babies like us more.
Creating a great educational experience isn’t just a question of shuttling kids to an interesting destination. It also depends on our ability to share and explore ideas.
Melting ice cubes in the sun? Letting kids explore and make discoveries on their own?
It's an old-fashioned approach, but research suggests it may be the best -- if you want to encourage young children to think for themselves.
"Talking up" to kids -- using sophisticated vocabulary -- is helpful. But what about babies? Researchers think they have indirect evidence that babies benefit too.
When being popular is the primary goal, kids may focus on learning to impress rather than learning to connect, and that doesn’t bode well for their long-term health or happiness.
Kids benefit when homes and classrooms have lots of books and educational materials. But when it's time to focus and study, a hyper-stimulating environment with lots of visual distraction is not the best place to be.
See my blog post about the virtues of a simplicity.
New research suggests that pregnancy makes your autonomic nervous system respond more powerfully to music. Do such changes help unborn babies learn about the musical world?
Are Tiger Mothers doing kids a favor or a disservice? Is parental pressure a good thing or a bad thing?
New research confirms what many cultural psychologists have suspected for a long time: It depends on how a child feels about his parent.
An updated look at how a child's theory of intelligence can change the way she learns.
We already know that people learn useful lessons from play. Should we be surprised if kids learn special psychological lessons when they are left to work things out for themselves?
Stress is contagious in adults. Can we doubt that the same is true for babies? New research confirms what some parents have argued all along. Babies can sense stress, and stand to benefit when adults make an effort to unwind and calm down.
Recent research suggests that young children are developmentally unready for competitive games. But cooperative board games are another matter...and an opportunity to teach children about rules and tactical thinking.
Believe it or not, your child's willingness to help may depend, in part, on whether you use verbs or nouns to describe good work.
Ever since psychologists first proposed parenting style categories, permissive parents have been considered the misguided layabouts of the childcare world. But is permissiveness really all that bad? I think it depends on what exactly you permit, and how your child handles it.
Here is an updated look at permissive parenting.
How do we teach kids to conserve the earth's resources? Maybe the most crucial factor is getting kids to play outside.
In recent months, headlines announced that music lessons do not have an effect on the way kids think and learn.
But the study in question didn't test the effects of learning to play a musical instrument. Instead, it tested the effects of 6 weeks of music-oriented preschool activities on young children.
What, then, do we know about the effects of serious, sustained musical training? It's clear that such training causes changes in the brain, and there is reason to think that many of the skills musicians acquire could be relevant for academic achievement.
The best reason to enroll kids in music lessons remains the obvious one: Learning to play music, and understand it, is intrinsically rewarding. But kids may also benefit in other ways.
For an updated review of the evidence, see my article, "Music and intelligence."
Some thoughts about a new study suggesting that early life adversity shortens a child's telomeres, and, therefore, hastens the aging process.
New evidence that a nap helps babies figure out the rules that govern language.
How is school serving your child? Here is my updated round-up of the many articles and blog posts I've written about schooling: A review of the best-available evidence about educating our kids.
An updated look at what hunter-gatherers have to teach us about healthy diets.
New research suggests that the parents of very young children are making headway in the battle against obesity. But there is evidence that many children have genetic risk factors. What can we do about it?
Babies and children can be hard to figure out. Here are five things that researchers say many parents don't realize.
A new study of more than 2700 American families found that 30% of one-year-olds had been spanked. What's going on?
When it comes to coping with the new and unexpected, young children may have an advantage.
In the wake of new study reporting that preschoolers were better than college students at figuring out a strange, new device, we ought to re-examine the messages we are sending to children.
Do years of education train kids to stop thinking in innovative ways? See my updated argument about the media, popular, culture, and schooling.
For years we've heard about links between breastfeeding and cognitive development. New research helps pinpoint what's responsible for the link, and it doesn't seem to be the milk. It's a package of parenting practices that breastfeeding mothers tend to follow.
Babies deprive parents of sleep. But do babies themselves ever suffer from insomnia?
Literacy experts conducted a long-term, experimental study, and the results are in: Diligent, daily lessons did NOT teach babes how to read.
Exciting new research suggests that our ability to understand other people is rooted in very real, very concrete physiological phenomena. And yet empathy isn't just a matter of neurons. Read my updated article about empathy and the brain.
Recent research suggests that the mere reminder of money can change the way we feel about the time we spend with our children.
Stories without conflict would be boring. But do kids really crave stories full of physical violence? Research suggests otherwise, and so we might ask ourselves: What's the point of presenting young children with all that aggression? Who actually benefits?
An updated look at the effects of violent television on kids.
You want to make sure your baby is getting enough vitamin D. But is she? Based on the research I’ve seen, I wouldn’t bet on it. Especially if she is breastfed. Read why doctors should be monitoring the vitamin D status of breastfeeding babies...and their mothers.
Why aren't human automatic breast-feeders? I'm not sure, but even monkeys have to learn.
Educated parents from information-based societies need little convincing. They harbor a cultural bias in favor of play. But in many places, schools are cutting back on recess and other opportunities for free play. How do we know these moves are counter-productive? See my updated guide to the evidence about the cognitive effects of play.
Pretend play is stimulating and fun, and that's reason enough to do it. But might it also bring out the best in kids?
Some babies form secure attachments with their caregivers. Others don't, and this failure has implications for the development of behavior problems.
But what does it mean, in concrete terms, that a child is securely attached? How do researchers measure attachment, and why do some children fail to form secure attachments?