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
Voices carry so much information. Joy and anger, desires, comfort, vocabulary lessons. As babies learn about their world, the voice of their mother is a particularly powerful tool. One way mothers wield that tool is by speaking in the often... Read More
Raising babies is a combination of the ridiculous, the joyful and the difficult. And while I am most definitely biased, I suspect that there’s something even more difficult about raising babies in the Information Age.A smartphone can be a powerful... Read More
I recently wrote about the power that adults’ words can have on young children. Today, I’m writing about the power of adults’ actions. Parents know, of course, that their children keep a close eye on them. But a new study provides a particularly... Read More
It’s hard not to compliment kids on certain things. When my little girls fancy themselves up in tutus, which is every single time we leave the house, people tell them how pretty they are. I know these folks’ intentions are good, but an abundance of... Read More
We’re going through a comic book phase at my house. Since lucking into the comics stash at the library, my 4-year-old refuses any other literary offering. Try as I might to rekindle her love of Rosie Revere, my daughter shuns that scrappy little... Read More
As luck (or exceptionally precise astronomical modeling) would have it, my new, small Oregon town happens to lie in the upcoming eclipse’s path of totality. For nearly two glorious minutes on August 21, we will look up and see the unworldly sight of... Read More