My youngest child, now just over a year old, has started to talk. Even though I’ve experienced this process with my older two, it’s absolutely thrilling. He is putting words to the thoughts that swirl around in his sweet little head, making his mind a little less mysterious to the rest of us.
But these early words may not mean what we think they mean, a new study hints. Unsurprisingly, when 2-year-olds were asked a series of “this or that” questions, the toddlers showed strong preferences — but not for the reasons you’d think. Overwhelmingly, the toddlers answered the questions with the last choice given.
That bias, described in PLOS ONE on June 12, suggests that young children’s answers to these sorts of questions don’t actually reflect their desires. Instead, kids may simply be echoing the last thing they heard.
This verbal quirk can be used by parents to... Read More
I recently attempted a technically demanding “around the world” braid on my kindergartner. On my sloppy and meandering approach to the South Pole, I discovered a loathsome sight that scuttled my circumnavigation — a smattering of small, brownish... Read More
There’s no sorrier sight than a puking preschooler. That’s the conclusion I recently reached around 2 a.m. as my poor 4-year-old heaved into the dim abyss. Luckily, her bout with the stomach flu was brief, and she was feeling better by the next day.... Read More
I love to hate the phrase “sleep like a baby.” It’s a beautiful example of a saying that’s based on the exact opposite of what it’s intended to convey. Babies (many of them, anyway) are rotten sleepers.During my last pregnancy, I wondered if I might... Read More
Sometime around 9 p.m., before the second leg of a cross-country flight, my just-turned-4-year-old decided she had had enough. She let out a scream and went full noodle right at the end of a moving walkway in Chicago Midway. I had the baby in a... Read More
I’m making my way through my third round of breastfeeding a newborn and taking stock of how things are going. Some aspects are definitely easier: My milk came in really quickly (a perk of being a repeat lactator), the fancy breastfeeding baby holds... Read More
Getting help from a toddler is a bit like not getting help: They mean well, but you may end up with more of a mess than when you started.But given the choice, many kids prefer “real” activities to imaginary games, Bruce Bower recently... Read More