Health benefits of religion: Are religious kids better off?

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© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Studies link religion with health benefits, but that doesn’t mean that being religious makes us healthy. What’s more likely is that religion is one of many ways that people can find social and emotional support, and discover a sense of meaning and purpose.  For decades, we’ve heard about studies Read More »

Bedwetting in scientific perspective: Debunking destructive myths

child sleeping bed at night

© 2010 – 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Myths about bedwetting? There are several, and they aren’t helpful. Ever heard the claim that kids wet the bed out of laziness? Or that kids require counseling — talking therapy — in order to break the “habit?” Or how about the idea that wetting the Read More »

Hunter-gatherers subsidize families…for the benefit of everyone

Lake Eyasi Hadza women with child, black and white image by Papa Bravo

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Egalitarian, cooperative, and fiercely-protective of their personal freedoms, hunter-gatherers are also very practical. They know that parents can’t afford to raise kids without help. So everybody pitches in — and society thrives. Family subsidies. Childcare help. Support for parents struggling to make ends meet. We sometimes talk Read More »

Iron rich foods: How to improve children’s iron status through diet

© 2009 – 2021, Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved The smart consumption of iron rich foods If your child has been diagnosed with an iron deficiency, it makes sense to examine his or her diet. But boosting iron levels isn’t just a matter of eating iron-rich foods. Some foods contain iron, but they also Read More »

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

© 2020 Gwen Dewar, all rights reserved Are little kids intrinsically selfish? Many people assume so. But scientific research suggests otherwise. Like adults, children experience the warm glow of giving. And it’s a motivating force for good. Psychologists call it “the warm glow of giving,” and it’s a well-documented phenomenon among adults. In fact, neuroscientists Read More »

Parenting stress: 12 evidence-based tips for making life better

© 2016 – 2020 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Parenting stress puts a strain on the whole family — sapping patience, damaging relationships, eroding well-being.  What can we do about it? Here are some suggestions inspired by the latest research.  1. Need social support? Reach out — even if it’s just a phone call Read More »

Not actually angry: Black children and boys more frequently misjudged

© 2020 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Race and gender biases can make us perceive anger where none exists. They also lead many adults to perceive Black children as less “childlike” — less innocent and vulnerable.  How many “behavior problems” are caused by adults getting it wrong? Picture this. You are sitting in a Read More »

How to connect with nature: Tips for tuning into the natural world

© 2020 GWEN DEWAR, PH.D., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED People who connect with nature are happier, and children who connect with nature are more prosocial and better-behaved. How can we help our families feel a greater sense of connectedness?  You already know that kids benefit when they play outdoors. They also reap special benefits when they Read More »

Kids who feel connected with nature are happier — and more likely to befriend, help, and share

© 2020 GWEN DEWAR, PH.D., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Does your child feel connected with nature? Researchers can measure these feelings with a standard questionnaire, and they’ve discovered fascinating links. Nature-loving children are happier. They experience fewer behavior problems. And they are more likely to treat others with kindness. What happens when we spend time outdoors Read More »