Family stress: An evidence based guide to stress in parents and children

© 2008-14 Gwen Dewar, all rights reserved Family stress in evolutionary perspective The baby won’t stop crying. Your family needs you, but you’ll endanger your job (and paycheck) if you don’t go to work. You make a mad rush to get your child’s toothache treated, but you arrive too late and the office is closed. Read More »

Empathy and the brain

© 2008-2014, Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Human empathy depends on the ability to share the emotions of others, to feel what other people feel. It is regarded by many people as the foundation of moral behavior. But to some, the concept seems rather airy-fairy. What does it mean to say “I feel your Read More »

Nighttime fears in children: A practical guide for the science-minded

© 2008 – 2014 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Nighttime fears are very common, and may include fears of intruders, monsters, unexplained sounds, and darkness. In this article, I review The evolutionary basis for children’s fears Why kids may be biologically unprepared to cope by themselves, and How you can help your child overcome Read More »

Your picky eater: Evidence-based tips for the science-minded parent

© 2009-2013 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Got a picky eater? Something happens to babies–even babies who are “good eaters”–after the age of two. Kids who were once happy to eat all sorts of things suddenly reject their old favorites. They also refuse to try new foods (Nicklaus 2009). Interestingly, this is roughly the Read More »

Pure bullies: Aggressors who are socially-savvy, popular, and smart

© 2008 – 2013 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Pure bullies are a distinctive group In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter learns a terrible truth: His late father had been a school bully. How disturbing. After all, Harry Potter’s father hadn’t been a social oaf—a slow-witted outsider who couldn’t Read More »

Bullying in school, at home, and on the savanna

© 2008-2013 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved In the old days, people took a laissez-faire approach to bullying in school. Bullying was considered a normal part of growing up. Kids were left to work things out for themselves. But the evidence suggests that bullying isn’t a healthy part of childhood. Yes, bullying is found Read More »

Video game addiction: A parent’s evidence-based guide

© 2009 – 2013 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Some kids spend long hours playing video games. Do they suffer from video game addiction? Not necessarily. Kids might play video games with disturbingly violent themes. They might spend too much time on the couch, becoming more sedentary and socially reclusive. Kids might sometimes neglect Read More »