The Parenting Science News Feed

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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Can babies sense stress in others? Yes they can!

baby looking out window, appearance of being downcast

Stressed-out parents often wonder: Can babies sense tension and anger? Can babies sense stress in their caregivers? Experimental research confirms that stress is contagious.

Compassionate deception: Do children tell prosocial lies?

toddler girl making uncertain facial expression

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 capacity even earlier.

Preschool dinosaur activities: Ideas for inspiring pretend play

toddler girl playing outside with four different plastic dinosaur toys, including a sauropod, Pachycephalosaurus, and hadrosaur

These preschool dinosaur activities begin with a thought experiment. If you were given a living dinosaur to take care of, what would you do? There are no rules, and kids can use a variety of props to bring their ideas to life. The goal is to learn about dinosaurs, think imaginatively, solve practical problems, and keep a record of your discoveries.

Do kids grow out of insomnia?

young girl awake in bed at night, rubbing her eyes while looking at mobile phone screen

Insomnia might sound like an adult problem, but many kids experience insomnia symptoms, and new research suggests that most symptomatic children will continue to have trouble in their teen years or beyond. How do experts define insomnia? Who is at higher risk for developing symptoms? And what can we do to prevent lasting sleep problems? Here’s an overview of the evidence.

Animal tracking: What kids can learn from the study of footprints and other clues

toddler standing in snow, near rabbit or hare tracks

How is animal tracking related to cognitive development? Before the rise of urban life, kids spent a lot of time learning read the visual clues left behind by other animals. Nowadays, many kids never get to learn the art of tracking. But maybe they should. Tracking gets kids outdoors and interested in wildlife. It may also provide kids with opportunities to practice scientific reasoning, spatial skills, and symbolic thought.