The Parenting Science news feed alerts you to updates on the Parenting Science website and to new blog posts or articles written by Gwen Dewar about parenting and child development topics.
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Jan 24, 2017
Researchers seeking fathers for online study
Are you the father of one or more daughters? Investigators at the University of Ottawa are looking for volunteers to participate in an anonymous, online survey. For more information, follow this link.
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Dec 22, 2016
Creating a more civilized, peaceful world
How do we stop the spread of destructive, anti-social behavior? One place to begin is by providing children with the tools they need to become cooperative, reasonable, socially responsible, and self-controlled.
Continue reading "Creating a more civilized, peaceful world"
Dec 17, 2016
Parenting stress: 10 evidence-based tips for a better life
There's plenty to be stressed about. But there are concrete steps you can take to cope better, and stay strong.
Continue reading "Parenting stress: 10 evidence-based tips for a better life"
Dec 13, 2016
Why building blocks rock
It's universal, and it's powerful: Toy blocks and other construction toys can change the way kids think. Building projects stimulate creativity, and sharpen crucial skills.
Learn more about the science of block play -- why providing kids with construction toys is an excellent investment.
Continue reading "Why building blocks rock"
Dec 05, 2016
Improving spatial skills: 10 evidence-based tips
Babies aren't born with excellent spatial skills. Learn what adults can do to help kids to become savvy spatial problem solvers.
Continue reading "Improving spatial skills: 10 evidence-based tips"
Nov 01, 2016
Learning by doing: How outdoor play can prepare kids for achievement in STEM.
Intriguing research suggests that hands-on experiences have a special impact on the mind. What are the implications for outdoor play? Read more in this post I wrote for the Natural Start Alliance.
Continue reading "Learning by doing: How outdoor play can prepare kids for achievement in STEM."
Sep 19, 2016
Reinventing the Mother Ground
Today's children don't spend enough time outside, but whose fault is that? If we want to fix the problem, we need to consider the ancient support networks that helped our ancestors cope.
I first wrote about this several years ago. The Natural Start Alliance asked me to expand my discussion. Read more at this link.
Continue reading "Reinventing the Mother Ground"
May 05, 2016
Fight for your children's right to move and play - and raise smarter, healthier kids
Is your child stuck in a rut -- perhaps even a school system -- that leaves little time for exercise? When adults create environments that prevent kids from being active, we aren't only undermining their health. We're also making it harder for kids to succeed in school. Here's an updated look at what parents and policymakers need to know.
Continue reading "Fight for your children's right to move and play - and raise smarter, healthier kids"
Feb 17, 2016
Disruptive behavior problems: Evidence-based tips
Some kids are more prone to aggression, disruption, or acting out. How can we improve their behavior?
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Jan 27, 2016
Taming aggression in children: 5 crucial strategies for effective parenting
Good news from researchers who study aggression in children: By changing our mental habits, we can stop aggression before it erupts.
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Jan 06, 2016
New year, new opportunities to improve your child's experiences at school
Here's a worthy new year's resolution: Help kids develop secure, supportive student-teacher relationships.
An updated look at the remarkable impact of positive personal connections.
Continue reading "New year, new opportunities to improve your child's experiences at school"
Dec 16, 2015
How construction play boosts creativity, language skills (and STEM skills too)
They might not be as flashy as electronic toys. But building blocks and bricks don't just entertain. Studies suggest they promote language development, social skills, spatial skills, and creativity -- especially when adults provide the right contexts.
Continue reading "How construction play boosts creativity, language skills (and STEM skills too)"
Dec 11, 2015
Toys for the brain: Raising young scientists, engineers, and architects
How to raise kids with STEM skills? The evidence continues to accumulate: Clues point to the power of Lego and construction play.
Continue reading "Toys for the brain: Raising young scientists, engineers, and architects"
Dec 07, 2015
Spatial intelligence: Making kids smarter through practice and play
Spatial skills crucial for success in many fields. Yet spatial training is often neglected at school. Can we help kids develop spatial intelligence? Experiments say "yes."
Continue reading "Spatial intelligence: Making kids smarter through practice and play"
Nov 30, 2015
Educational toys and games: An evidence-based guide
Parents hear a lot about the educational benefits of various games and toys. Which claims are backed up by science?
Continue reading "Educational toys and games: An evidence-based guide"
Nov 19, 2015
Can we teach self control?
Self-control is the key to social harmony and life success. But how do we foster self-discipline in children? Recent studies illustrate the benefits of timely reminders, games, and coaching.
Continue reading "Can we teach self control?"
Nov 05, 2015
Social skills activities
We want our children to succeed in the social world--to learn how to cooperate, make friends, and negotiate conflicts. We want them to develop strong perspective-taking skills, and treat other people with fairness and compassion.
How can we help them do it? See these evidence-based tips.
Continue reading "Social skills activities"
Oct 30, 2015
Infant crying: What can we do to stop it?
Singing to babies is more effective than talking? Read about this and other evidence-based observations in my updated look at why infants cry.
Continue reading "Infant crying: What can we do to stop it?"
Oct 22, 2015
The health benefits of religion: Are secular parents short-changing their kids
Despite sweeping claims about the health benefits of religion, there is little evidence to support the idea that religion is uniquely protective of health or happiness. What's more likely is that people benefit from the friendship, social support, and sense of belonging that religions provide.
Continue reading "The health benefits of religion: Are secular parents short-changing their kids"
Oct 16, 2015
Cognitive development before kindergarten: Are kids smarter than they seem?
Folk wisdom and classic research paints the same dim picture of early cognitive development: Young children are illogical and incapable of reason. But in recent years, scientists are piecing together a very different view.
Continue reading "Cognitive development before kindergarten: Are kids smarter than they seem?"
Oct 09, 2015
All around the world, people use a special register when they speak to the very young. Some think it's cute, others may find it annoying. But babies love it, and research suggests it helps babies learn to talk. Here's the latest news about a very ancient practice.
Continue reading "Baby talk"
Oct 02, 2015
The social abilities of newborns: Why babies are born ready to learn from our sensitive, loving interactions
In times past, some people believed that newborns were effectively mindless -- tiny survival machines that depended on us for food and shelter. But the studies cited here confirm that newborn babies are fundamentally social creatures. They seem designed to listen to speech, to seek out and differentiate faces, and to expect responsive social partners.
Here's an up-to-date look at the remarkable abilities of newborns -- and their readiness to learn.
Continue reading "The social abilities of newborns: Why babies are born ready to learn from our sensitive, loving interactions"
Oct 01, 2015
Parenting Science website renovations under way
If you haven't noticed any changes in the look of this website, you probably will soon. Currently, Ezoic is testing a variety of different layouts with readers, so you may see more than one look if you visit the website on different occasions.
Meanwhile, the content is the same: Fully-referenced, evidence information for the science-minded.
Jul 20, 2015
What happens when parents are overtaxed and stressed out?
The evidence is clear: Attending to your own well-being isn't a selfish luxury. It's important for your personal relationships and your child's development.
Continue reading "What happens when parents are overtaxed and stressed out?"
Jul 13, 2015
Know any young adults who haven't reproduced yet? Ask them if they want to participate in online research about parenting.
Researchers at the University of Queensland are seeking online volunteers between the ages of 18-25.
Continue reading "Know any young adults who haven't reproduced yet? Ask them if they want to participate in online research about parenting."
Jul 09, 2015
Parenting Stress: 10 evidence-based tips for improving your health and well-being
What can parents do to get relief? A fresh look the research points to common traps, and how to beat them. And some insights might be especially helpful to the most sensitive parents. Is empathy stressing you out?
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Jun 26, 2015
The crucial idea that turns children into better learners
An updated look at the power of our beliefs about the mind. Kids who think of the brain as a muscle -- something that gets stronger with exercise -- have a distinct learning advantage.
Continue reading "The crucial idea that turns children into better learners"
May 20, 2015
6 tips for boosting your baby's language skills
“Talk to your baby."
“Respond to your infant’s cues."
We get this advice all the time, but what does it actually mean?
Read my practical, evidence-based suggestions for the Urban Child Institute. Published with full references. Hooray!
Continue reading "6 tips for boosting your baby's language skills"
May 06, 2015
Stress in babies: : How to keep babies happy, calm, and emotionally healthy
By making smart, sensitive choices, parents can avoid unnecessary strain and protect babies from toxic stress.
Continue reading "Stress in babies: : How to keep babies happy, calm, and emotionally healthy"
Apr 23, 2015
Turning the tables: Why kids learn better when we ask them to teach
Adults often learn better when they explain what they know to others. But does this trick work for kids too? Research suggests it does.
Continue reading "Turning the tables: Why kids learn better when we ask them to teach"
Apr 16, 2015
Six tips for replacing screen time with "unplugged" play
According to recent surveys, American preschoolers spend an average of four hours each day watching TV.
It represents a dramatic shift from the childhood of our ancestors. What are the consequences, and how can parents help kids learn how to entertain themselves without electronics? Here are my tips for the Urban Child Institute.
Continue reading "Six tips for replacing screen time with "unplugged" play"
Apr 08, 2015
Physically fit kids are smarter kids
Time to get the kids outside to play. An updated look at the cognitive benefits of aerobic exercise.
Continue reading "Physically fit kids are smarter kids"
Mar 25, 2015
5 tips for conversing with babies
Why should you talk with your baby?
Kids need to hear a language in order to learn it. Everybody knows that. But if it were just a case of listening to the spoken word, your baby might learn just as easily from eavesdropping or watching television.
And we know there is more going on.
Continue reading "5 tips for conversing with babies"
Mar 18, 2015
Why conversations matter more than television
An updated look at the effects of TV on language. It isn't that TV makes kids dumb. Rather, TV time displaces crucial conversation time with parents. And there's a lot of evidence that one-on-one conversation is what really gives babies a learning boost.
Continue reading "Why conversations matter more than television"
Mar 04, 2015
An updated look at why kids don't go to sleep...and what we can do to help.
Continue reading "Bedtime problems?"
Mar 04, 2015
An updated look at why kids don't go to sleep...and what we can do to help.
Continue reading "Bedtime problems?"
Feb 18, 2015
Why do kids need to connect with their caregivers?
Good childcare depends on more than nice classrooms and low child-to-caregiver ratios. See my new article for The Urban Child Institute.
Continue reading "Why do kids need to connect with their caregivers?"
Feb 11, 2015
Zero to three: Milestones of empathy and kindness
Do babies experience empathy? Indeed they do. Here is an overview of important developmental milestones during the first three years -- an article of mine for the Urban Child Institute.
Continue reading "Zero to three: Milestones of empathy and kindness"
Jan 28, 2015
Kids losing sleep due to schedules, homework, technology?
Some thoughts on the latest sleep poll by the National Sleep Foundation.
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Jan 21, 2015
Parents with music training are better at figuring out babies' cries
Those old piano lessons you took may have a surprising side benefit.
Continue reading "Parents with music training are better at figuring out babies' cries"