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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At what age do children begin to tell lies?

Closeup of child looking sideways by Big D2112

Most kids begin telling lies between the ages of 2 and 4, as they develop better “mind-reading” skills and self-control. But understanding the morality of lying? That comes later.

Signs of toilet training readiness: When to start, and when to wait

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved When children show signs of toilet training readiness, they may learn toileting skills more easily or quickly. But not all signs are equally helpful — or even relevant — to your family’s needs. Before you begin training, it’s important to decide on your individualized goals for potty Read More »

How do children respond to a mother’s voice?

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved A mother’s voice has special power. It can provide comfort — and improve outcomes — for babies hospitalized in the NICU. It can shape the way infants process language in the brain. And it can help children cope with pain and stress. What happens when a baby Read More »

Protecting kids from eviction: They need us to take action

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Everybody says it. Politicians, corporations, lobbyists, investors, major media outlets, policymakers. They say they care about children. They say we must make sure that our children are thriving. They say we must provide them with the opportunities they need become happy, productive, contributing members of society. But Read More »

Treating postpartum depression benefits babies

baby sleeping on mother's shoulder

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Treating postpartum depression is crucial for the well-being of mothers, but studies suggest that it benefits babies, too — improving an infant’s ability to regulate emotions. Imagine you’re a baby in a researcher’s laboratory. You are sitting on your mother’s lap, facing forward, gazing at a friendly Read More »

Lack of math education may shortchange a teenager’s developing brain

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Some teens study lots of math. Others avoid it. Does it make a difference? Yes, and not only to career prospects. New research suggests it might also affect brain chemistry, and the way that students learn. How many years of math should you take in high school? Read More »

Evidence that spanking alters the brain

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved As disciplinary tactics go, spanking is ineffective, and it may be harmful, too. A new study suggests that spanking alters the brain, making kids more reactive to potential threats, and more at risk for developing behavior problems. Over the years, I’ve followed the research on spanking, and Read More »

How to communicate with your teenager: Key signals to send

Families are better off when teenagers communicate openly with their parents. But how do we inspire better communication? An experimental study shows the way: We need to provide kids with crucial signals of active, supportive listening. Not only does it make kids feel better. It also encourages them to confide in us.