7 remarkable studies on children’s development that will help you become a better parent

Baby’s painting

Did you know that by the time a child turns three, 85 % of the core structures of their brain are formed? The first years of life are crucial for kids’ development – it is the time when their brain develops at an amazing speed: as many as 700 new neural connections are created every second!  That is why it’s so important to get to know these processes in order to understand your child and their behavior. In today’s post we are introducing you to the most fascinating studies that explain how children develop.


1. Free play as an inseparable part of child’s development

Free play has extreme importance when it comes to children’s development. The studies have shown that unstructured time is not only a great way of spending free time for kids, but it also gives them other benefits: it is essential in kids’ intellectual and cognitive growth, emotional intelligence etc. It helps them learn how to get along with their peers, which strengthens their social skills as a results. It is also the time when they get to know how to deal with conflicts, learn leadership skills etc. On the other hand, many structured activities may hinder children’s mental processes and abilities to gain new skills.


Find out more:




2. Infants’ social skills are linked to learning foreign languages

The study showed the connection  between early social interaction and boost in brain areas that are  responsible for learning languages. The research included 17 infants from English-speaking households.  Over 4 weeks the kids interacted with the tutor who played with them, talked and read in Spanish. The conclusion: the more babies participated in foreign language classes, the greater was their brains’ response to foreign language sounds.


Find out more:



3. Poverty can have negative, long-term effects on children’s brains

The surprising results of the study showed a correlation between the poverty and kids’ depression, anxiety, learning difficulties and issues dealing with stress. Children from low-income families scored 20% lower on standardized tests comparing to other children, which was linked to slow development in particular regions of their brains: frontal and temporal one.


Find out more:



4. Too much TV time sets toddlers up for later bullying

Negative consequences of spending too much time in front of TV are a well-known fact, but the recent study went even further: it shed some light on the link between toddler’s TV consumption and bullying in later years. New research has shown a link between the number of hours spent watching TV at the age of 29 months to the probability of a kid being bullied in sixth grade. Why is exactly TV at fault? As a result of a long exposure to television, kids not only  have fewer family interactions and fewer interactive experiences, but also developmental deficits.


Find out more:






5. How parents see themselves may affect their child’s brain and stress level.

A study at Boston Children’s Hospital has demonstrated that a mother’s perceived social status predicts her child’s brain development and stress indicators. Children seem to be absorbing parents’ emotions and feelings. According to the findings of the research children of mothers who saw themselves as having a low social status were more likely to have increased cortisol levels, an indicator of stress and their hippocampus, a component of the brain responsible for long-term memory formation and reducing stress responses was less active. Hence, the parents’ perception of themselves might affect child’s development as well.


Find out more:



6. The kind of parental feedback that makes kids successful

Should you tell your child that they are smart? The latest research states that … no. According to several studies the most meaningful parental feedback focuses on child’s actions instead of traits. Apart from other obvious results like raising child’s self-esteem, praise can also play an important part in other areas. Researchers claim that parent praise in kids early years  predicts their motivational framework 5 years later. 


Find out more:




7. Autism may be influenced by environmental factors
After recording kids’ sleep problems and cognitive problems over a period of 3 years the researchers claim that kids who reported problems with sleepiness during the day, with increased sleepiness over time, did not show growth in their cognitive development. As a result of that, they had more difficulty gaining new information in comparison to children without signs of sleep deprivation.


Find out more:



Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Magdalena | Appetite For Education


P.S. Want to see more posts like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and receive info about new articles and infographics straight to your inbox!

About the author


Copyright © 2014. Created by Meks. Powered by WordPress.