PARENTING FOR THE SCIENCE-MINDED -- by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D

Founded by an evolutionary anthropologist, this parenting resource is for critical thinkers -- people who want to understand child development from the perspectives of psychology, anthropology, evolution, and cognitive neuroscience.

I’ve got opinions. But who cares? You might be a scientist, physician, or teacher. Maybe you're an educated, skeptical layperson who loves science. Whatever the case, you don't need a sermon. You need evidence. You can draw your own conclusions.

So here it is: No folk theories. No preachy advice. No authoritarian pronouncements or pseudoscientific political dogma. Instead, you’ll find my analysis of the research, fully-referenced so you know where to go if you want to dig deeper yourself.

Recent highlights

  1. Compassionate deception: Do children tell lies to be kind?

    Oct 11, 18 04:57 PM

    Do children tell prosocial lies – lies intended to protect another person from harm? Fascinating experiments indicate that many kids are capable of this by the age of 7, and some children show the cap…

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  2. Punitive environments encourage children to tell lies

    Oct 04, 18 04:30 PM

    It's not unusual for kids to tell lies, but their readiness to deceive depends on the social environment. When adults attempt to control children through threats and punishments, kids are more likely…

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  3. At what age do children begin to tell lies?

    Sep 28, 18 12:18 AM

    When do children start telling lies? Some begin before they are two and a half. Others take longer. But by the age of four, most kids lie at least sometimes, and no, it isn’t moral failing. Children b…

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Praise for Parenting Science

"[A] welcome antidote to the opinion dressed up as science that parents are constantly fed. Tear up your parenting books and get yourselves over there..."

- Charles Fernyhough, Ph.D., developmental psychologist and author of A Thousand Days of Wonder: A Scientist’s Chronicle of his Daughter’s Developing Mind


"...[O]ne of the most awesome websites I’ve seen in a long time…In addition to being helpful to academic parents, I see this site being useful in anthropology courses on human sexuality, life history, parenting, evolutionary medicine, evolutionary psychology, etc. Please check it out!"

- Julienne Rutherford, Ph.D., University of Illinois biological anthropologist and founder of the Biological Anthropology Developing Investigators Troop (BANDIT)


"I came across a great website run by Gwen Dewar, one I wish it had been available to me when my children were young. I hope everyone interested in math and kids will look at In search of the smart preschool board game and other pages on this site."

- Bill Marsh, Ph.D., in mathematics and author of MathInking, a blog about teaching math