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. What happens when adults lie to children?

    Jan 08, 21 08:51 PM

    What happens when adults lie to children? Kids tend to become more dishonest, and they might be at higher risk for aggressive and antisocial behavior problems.

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  2. When does peer pressure start? Early. Very early in life.

    Dec 31, 20 07:12 PM

    Peer pressure starts long before adolescence. When faced with a choice between telling the truth and backing a popular falsehood, even 4-year-olds will buckle.

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  3. When do babies sit up by themselves, and what can we do to help them?

    Dec 21, 20 06:53 PM

    When do babies sit up? Most reach this milestone between 4 and 8 months, but it depends on us. We can give babies a boost by helping babies build key muscles.

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  4. Want to make kids happy? Help them experience the warm glow of giving.

    Dec 09, 20 05:22 PM

    Are kids intrinsically selfish? No. When given the chance, young children tend to show kindness. And like adults, they can experience the warm glow of giving.

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  5. Preschool social skills: How to raise kind and competent kids

    Nov 29, 20 09:25 PM

    What social skills are important to preschoolers? And how do we nurture these abilities? Evidence-based tips for fostering preschool social skills.

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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



Copyright © 2006-2020 by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.; all rights reserved.
For educational purposes only. If you suspect you have a medical problem, please see a physician.



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