This past year, there have been a lot of new and interesting discoveries from studies relating to parenting and child development that may surprise you. Recently, The Huffington Post compiled some of these latest finds. While we don’t encourage anyone to change their parenting methods because of a study, it’s always better to be informed.
Here are some that we find helpful, and a little bit surprising:
1. Reading changes your kid’s brain. Seriously. It’s like a sci-fi movie, but with a happy ending. Scientists found that reading to children ages 3-5 results in the activation of the part of their brains that help with mental imagery and comprehension.
2. Most parents use car seats wrong. A study found that parents are not following the advice about how long their child should sit in rear-facing car seats. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers should sit in rear-facing car seats only until they either turn 2, or reach the maximum height and weight.
3. Dogs help reduce anxiety in children. For me, I hardly need an excuse to get a furry friend, but this could change some parents’ views on pets. A study found that kids who live in homes with dogs are less likely to suffer from anxiety disorders than kids in dog-free homes.
4. ADHD is more common in girls, not boys, according to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Diagnoses have increased by 43% among school-age children in the U.S. Among girls, the diagnoses increased by a whopping 55%.
6. Clamping a baby’s umbilical cord later can benefit your child’s health. A 2015 study suggests that children whose cords were cut more than three minutes after birth had slightly higher social and fine motor skills later on.
7. Children are physically assaulted by their siblings more than you think. One third of children in the U.S. experience assaults involving siblings, according to a study, which can be a major source of trauma later on.
8. The increase in measles cases shows how important vaccination can be for a child’s life. The recent outbreak between January and November of 2015 resulted in 189 cases, after measles had been officially eliminated in the United States in 2000. The study suggests this is caused by under-vaccination both nationally and globally.