If your 3-year-old shows remarkable self-control, congratulations: Your child will most likely become a successful adult.
A New Zealand study recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences involved scientists following 1,000 children from birth to adulthood. The study analyzed the children’s “health, wealth, family and criminal status when the participants reached age 32, then looked for correlations between the self-control score and these outcomes, correcting, for I.Q. and socioeconomic status” (MSNBC.com)
The study revealed that children who displayed self-control at 3-years-old made less bad judgments when they were teens, such as smoking cigarettes, taking drugs, dropping out of school, and getting pregnant. According to ScienceDaily, self-control was defined by factors such as a child’s threshold for tolerance, persistence in sticking with and executing goals, ability to think before acting, and patience in waiting. Children who either learned or grew up teaching themselves discipline and self-control had a better future that didn’t include credit card debts, substance abuse, or low self-esteem.
So instead of just natural intelligence, self-control can be important in propeling children to success.
Does your child have good self-control? What parenting tips do you have to help your kids to be more disciplined?
Should a child be banned from preschool for having too many potty accidents?
At a preschool in Arlington, VA, a 3-year-old named Zoe was recently suspended for failing to comply with the school’s potty training policy. Even though Zoe had already been potty trained, the new preschool schedule changed Zoe’s potty dynamics. Since she began having too many accidents in a short amount of time at preschool, she was reproached by the school and asked to leave for one month. Eventually, her mom found another preschool (one without a potty training policy) willing to enroll Zoe, and she has not had any accidents since starting her new preschool.
News about this suspension worries parents who are already feeling the pressure to speed up their children’s education from an early age, from enrolling toddlers in sports to getting preschoolers to read chapter books. Since some preschools now accept only students who will be less hands-on in the potty department, parents are feeling the need to potty train their kids even if they’re not ready for it. There is also a social stigma that if a child is falling behind in developing certain behavioral or language skills, the child is delaying his achievements.
However, as expert Elizabeth Page pointed out in The Washington Post, potty training is considered a motor skill that depends on a child’s own pace, much like other milestones such as walking, talking, and reading. Adults shouldn’t force kids to potty train before they are ready or shame and embarass them if they aren’t progressing as fast as other children. Potty training can take time and even those who are potty trained could still have accidents. In short, children should be allowed to progress on their own terms to potty training success.
Below is a clip from Monday’s segment of the ”Today Show” in New York City, where Cheryl and her son (Dyson, now 5-years-old) speak about the importance of acceptance, inclusion, and embracing every child’s uniqueness. Plus, stay tuned for our own upcoming interview with Cheryl Kilodavis!
Diaper Research Tracks Infant Estrogen Levels The method, previously used in nonhuman primates, will allow researchers to learn more about the association between estrogen levels in human infants and their long-term reproductive development as well as the development of sex-specific behaviors, such as toy preference or cognitive differences. What’s more, the method will also allow researchers to look at how early disruption of the endocrine system affects long-term maturation, a growing concern among researchers and physicians. [Medical News Today]
A hot debate is brewing among parents and among our readers: Would you let your little boy dress in girls’ clothing?
Cheryl Kilodavis is the mother of a 4-year-old boy who loves wearing sparkly and pink dresses, skirts, tiaras, and jewelry. She wrote and self-published a children’s picture book titled “My Princess Boy,” based on her son, to create a dialogue about traditional gender roles, acceptance of differences, and unique self-expression. Another mom named Sarah blogged about her son’s choice to wear a “female” Halloween costume.
As an educator with a master’s degree in education, a former preschool teacher of 7 years, and a mother to a toddler, it is perfectly normal for a child to play in a way that may not be classified as “gender appropriate.” Children learn the most by playing with other children, especially in the early years…It is all part of their development. Pretend play is a good way for children to model behaviors they see in their world. - Tracy Seng Wren
I do not approve or encourage my son to dress like a girl or act effeminate. As a father, my role is to teach him the appropriate male gender roles. I would have no problem with my son cooking, helping with household chores, etc. There is a big difference with that and a boy dressing up as a girl. - Jose Tadeo
What do you think? Take our poll below and read more comments after the jump.
Fearless children show less empathy, more aggression - Preschool-aged children who demonstrate fearless behavior also reveal less empathy and more aggression towards their peers. This has been shown in a new study that was carried out at the University of Haifa’s Faculty of Education. “The results of this study show that fearless behavior in children can be identified and is related to neurological and genetic predisposition. This type of behavior has less correlation at least in infancy with standards of educational processes or parenting practice,” says Dr. Inbal Kivenson-Baron, who carried out the study. [Medical News Today]
New research highlights importance of parent-child communication to combat obesity - As part of its proprietary survey program, Student ViewPOINT™, ARAMARK Education, a leading provider of school food and nutrition services, surveyed almost 40,000 middle school and high school students across the country. The research revealed that parent-child communication has a significant influence on the nutrition habits of children. [The Medical News]
Many breast-fed babies lack Vitamin D - Although breast milk may be the best source of nutrition for babies it is low in Vitamin D. Newborn babies need 400 international units of Vitamin D a day, and can not get that from breast milk alone. Mothers who have breastfed should also give their child a Vitamin D droplet. This is a simple solution however, only five to thirteen percent of breastfed babies receive these supplements according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. [MSNBC]
Cute naked photos of tots pose dilemma for parents - It seems that the days when parents could take photos of their baby taking a bath are now over. They have the potential of getting arrested themselves for the exploitation of a minor if they post the nude shots online or in public. [MSNBC]
Kids get an eyeful of fast food marketing – According to researchers from Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity there has been a substantial increase in fast food adds bombarding child audiences, and it seems to be working. Forty percent of children ages 2 to 11 ask their parents to take them to McDonald’s at least once a week, and 15 percent of preschoolers ask to go every single day. [Washington Post]
Mental health visits rise as parent deploys – As multiple deployments become a norm there is a need to investigate their effects on military families as a whole. A new study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics including more than half a million children, released information suggesting that it is harder on their psyche than anticipated. Visits for mental health concerns, like anxiety and acting out at school, were the only kind to increase during deployment; complaints for all physical problems declined, the study found. [The New York Times]
In efforts to end bullying, some see agenda – Angry parents and religious critics agree that schoolyard harassment should be stopped, but are charging liberals and gay rights groups as using the anti-bullying banner to pursue a hidden “homosexual agenda.” [The New York Times]
What if your child was—literally—too big to attend school?
A 3-year-old boy in the Guangzhou region of southern China was banned from the preschool he was attending for being a “health hazard” to other children. Despite being named Xiao Hao (“xiao” means “small” in Mandarin Chinese), there is nothing small about the boy—he weighs a whopping 140 lbs., nearly five times more than the average preschooler, making him the tallest and heaviest kid in his class and in the world.
Xiao Hao’s parents were able to find another preschool willing to let their son attend. They are also seeking medical help for their son to maintain good physical and heart health. Some doctors believe Xiao Hao may have a growth hormone disorder that is causing him to increase at an unusual rate. Others believe he is the sad result of “Little Emperor Syndrome,” when parents and relatives overindulge their kids as a result of China’s one-child policy.
Do you think it was right for the school to ban Xiao Hao? Would you let your child attend school with him?