Cultivate Theme

The Number One Thing Free e-book

Latest Activity

Jennifer commented on marlynn's group 'Moms on Twitter'
1 hour ago
Jennifer joined marlynn's group
1 hour ago
Kim Ross is now a member of Mom Bloggers Club
11 hours ago
zara andrew posted a blog post
15 hours ago
Sophia M posted photos
18 hours ago
Hoa Giusti liked Hoa Giusti's discussion List of Businesses Ideas for Women Entrepreneurs with Little Investment
20 hours ago
Ina Wrobel and Andrea Sawyer are now friends
yesterday
Sophia M posted a status
"Goodnightmybaby.com"
yesterday

OUR BLOG

5 Common Fundraising Mistakes that Might Be Hurting Your Organization

Fundraising is hard work, done with the best intentions in mind. While you might get caught up in the spirit of “doing good,” you could be doing it wrong. Whether it’s a communication failure or a lack of foresight, here are five mistakes you’ll want to avoid when…

Life Changes I Wish I’d Made Sooner

By the time I turned 25, I was sure my life was a single-lane highway.

A single-lane highway with no exits. As far as I was concerned, I was headed in the same direction, with no…

3 Easy Ways to Share Nature With Your Kids This Summer

There’s something about the summer that brings out the fun in kids. Long summer days without any thought of school foster the type of carefree living children relish every year. The only bad thing about the summer is it can go by really fast. As parents, it is important to…

Perhaps the alternate title for this post should be something like: why your preschooler doesn’t take a coat when it’s cold outside. Although I don’t have children yet, I’ve been around enough of them to know that they often do not follow the directions or precautions you give them, no matter how many times you repeat yourself. So why is that? Are they just choosing to ignore you? Or is there something different about the functioning of their brain that makes it difficult for them to plan ahead? New research shows that it probably has a lot more to do with the latter.

In the past, many researchers thought that the functioning of young children’s brains were much like little adults: they could reason and plan ahead but just not as effectively as adults. New research is showing that this may not be the case. Instead, young children’s brains actually function quite differently, especially in regards to skills like planning ahead. University of Colorado researchers conducted a creative study to understand how young children (3-year-olds) follow directions compared to older children (8-year-olds). They set up a simple computer game involving a set of rules. When a picture of the character Blue (from Blue’s Clues) was followed by a picture of a watermelon, the child was told to press the happy face button. When any other character appeared (e.g., SpongeBob Squarepants) they were told to press the sad face button. The researchers then used a device to measure the children’s eye activity to determine how much mental effort they were using to complete the task. What they found was that the older children had to exert very little mental effort to do this task because they could anticipate which picture was coming up next. Preschoolers, however, had to use more effort to think about which button to push in response to the game. They had to consciously think back to the character they had just seen, instead of being able to anticipate the future.

So what does this mean for parents of preschoolers? As the researchers point out, this study seems to indicate that parents shouldn’t expect their preschooler to think ahead, for example, and bring their coat when going outside, even if you told them in advance. Just repeating this type of information over and over probably won’t help. While your preschooler is probably listening to you, their brain doesn’t really retrieve this information until it becomes immediately needed, like when they step outside and realize it’s cold. The researchers put it this way,

"The good news is what we're saying to our kids doesn't go in one ear and out the other, like people might have thought," said CU-Boulder psychology Professor Yuko Munakata. "It also doesn't go in and then get put into action like it does with adults. But rather it goes in and gets stored away for later."

Of course, children’s brains do eventually mature to the point that they can plan ahead and anticipate future events. Even the 8-year-olds in the study already had a much easier time completing the task than the preschoolers. In the meantime, this study is a good reminder that young children are not just like adults in smaller bodies.

More info about this article

Views: 16

Comment

You need to be a member of Mom Bloggers Club to add comments!

Join Mom Bloggers Club

© 2018   Created by Mom Bloggers Club.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service