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Motherly love helps children’s brains grow bigger, scientists find

The Telegraph – Sarah Knapton

“Motherly love can help children’s brains grow at twice the rate as neglected youngsters, a study has shown. Although it is known that a nurturing, stable home life improves overall childhood development, it is the first research to prove that it has a significant impact on brain size. Children who received the most support from their mother’s before school were found to have more growth in the hippocampus, which is associated with learning, memories and regulating emotions. Crucially, those youngsters who were more neglected when they were under six did not catch up, even when their mothers became more supportive in later years.”(more)

5 Clues You Are Coddling Your Toddler & Need To Let Them Live

Romper – Yvette Manes

“Parents want to protect their children from harm, danger, and disappointment. They want them to become successful adults without experiencing the negative aspects of growing up. They want to shield them from embarrassment, conflict, failure, and exclusion…The natural protection instinct a parent has toward a newborn can turn into a compulsion to safeguard them from anything perilous and all of life’s letdowns. But, this actually hinders your child’s future…coddled children turn into adults who have more health issues, are more susceptible to drug and alcohol addictions, have more difficulty maintaining relationships and financial stability, and are more likely to run into trouble with the law…Worried you’re holding on too tight to your little one? Or maybe not aware of it? The following are some clues you may be coddling your toddler.”(more)

Parents are underestimating their children’s ability to learn language, claims report

Independent – Richard Garner

“Too many parents are underestimating their children’s ability to learn language, according to a report. A poll of parents by charity Save the Children revealed nearly half of those polled (47 per cent) had low expectations of their children’s ability to learn…A briefing by 13 leading scientists from Oxford, Cambridge and University College London urges the Government to ensure at least one qualified teacher in every nursery class to maximise children’s learning potential. They point out that toddlers’ brains are twice as active as adults and that they can form connections at twice the rate of grown-ups. In a joint statement, they argue that Government action is necessary, otherwise these children could be struggling for a decade. “A child’s pre-school years form a critical opportunity for the brain to develop key skills like speech and language,” says their paper. “Our research shows failure to develop adequate language skills leaves children struggling to learn in the classroom.””(more)

Bilingual Kids Are Way Better At Thinking Outside The Rules

Co.exist – Charlie Sorrel

“Toddlers that are learning two languages are also learning another skill: how to look at problems in creative new ways. If they have experience switching between languages, then they’ll be even better. The key, says a new study, is this switching. Both bilingual and monolingual kids were studied at 24 months, and then again, seven months later, to asses their vocabularies. On the second occasion, the toddlers were also tested for a variety of factors. In general, there were few differences between the bilingual and monolingual kids, but in one area—conflict inhibition—the bilingual kids performed a lot better. Conflict inhibition is, in this case, the ability to disregard the rules you have learned.”(more)

Fisher-Price Announces ‘Code-A-Pillar’ for Youngest Learners

Education News – Jace Harr

“The toy company Fisher Price has released information about a product meant to help children learn the basics of coding before they can even read. The Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar is designed to help toddlers get a head start on technology fundamentals and learn skills that will make it easier for them to learn programming languages later, as well as exercising their analytical and problem-solving skills as they develop. The toy looks like a cross between a caterpillar and a train set, with a cute caterpillar head (including antennas) and detachable segments trailing behind. Each of the toy’s eight “body” pieces has an icon that controls what the toy does, like move forward, turn left, or make a noise. Once the parts are connected and the child pushes the start button, the caterpillar follows the sequence of commands that the child designed…No smartphone or tablet is necessary to use the basic toy.”(more)

‘iPad generation’ means nine in 10 toddlers live couch potato lives

The Telegraph – Laura Donnelly

“Just one in ten of the “iPad generation” of toddlers are active enough to be healthy, official Government data shows. Experts said Britain is “in the grip of an inactivity crisis” with two-year-olds spending increasing amounts of time hunched over gadgets, instead of moving about and playing traditional games…Health experts called for radical changes to the habits of today’s toddlers, warning that many were mimicking parents who spend much of their leisure time on tablets and smartphones…Government guidelines recommend that under-fives should undertake at least three hours of physical activity per day, in order to support brain, bone and muscular development, as well as encourage good habits for life. For those aged five to 15, the recommended minimum is one hour of moderately intensive activity a day.”(more)