Your kid might be a tech wizard, but she can’t remember what she had for breakfast. No big deal, right? She’s only two! Well, new research says you might be under-reacting just a bit. A study out of two universities in Montreal, Canada found that toddlers who scored lower on memory testing were more likely to be at risk for dropping out of school later on. WHOA.
The researchers followed 1,824 kids, checking in on their memory skills at ages two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half, and then on their school performance at age 12. What they found was that the toddlers who had better memory skills were more likely than those who didn’t to perform better in seventh grade and to have better attitudes about school overall, making them more likely to finish high school by age 21. Pretty crazy.
But if you’re panicking about your toddler’s future, don’t worry! There are plenty of things you can do to boost their memory skills, and the key is to start early. The researchers suggest encouraging make-believe play with other kids, taking on roles and keeping track of other kids’ roles will build memory capacity. They also suggest including your toddler in mindfulness and meditation practices. Hey, if it helps grown-ups so much, why not have your little ones give it a try, right?
“Encouraging mindfulness in children by helping them focus on their moment-to-moment experiences also has a positive effect on working memory,” Linda Pagani, a co-senior author on the study, said in a news release. One more thing — and this might be a hard one: Limit the time your toddler spends in front of a screen. The researchers say it can “undermine cognitive control and take time away from more enriching pursuits.” Guess your tech wizard two-year-old is about to become a meditation guru instead!
Are you going to try one of these memory-boosting activities with your little one? Tweet us about it at @BritandCo!
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