I never considered myself much of a parenting expert, and now a new report says I know even less than I thought I did.
Zero to Three, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to "promote the health and development of infants and toddlers," recently took a survey of over 1,600 families, and found that parents don't fully understand how toddlers' social and emotional development is affected by their early experiences.
Here's where many of us miss the mark. (To test your knowledge, answer the question asked before looking at the info below it.)
1. When can a child begin to experience emotions?
- What the research shows: Babies as young as 6 months can experience sadness and fear.
- What most parent think: 69 percent of respondents believe this milestone occurs later in a young child’s life.
2. At what age do our kids become affected by our moods?
- What the research shows: Babies sense and react to their parents’ moods (anger, sadness) starting from birth.
- What most parents think: Two-thirds don't think babies can be affected in this critical way at such a young age.
3. When does a child cultivate self-esteem?
- What the research shows: Most children are capable of feeling good (or bad) about themselves between ages 1 and 2.
- What most parents think: More than half don't think a child can experience these feelings until they are older.
4. At what age is a toddler able to control his emotions?
- What the research shows: Most children can control their emotions between the ages of 3 and 5 -- for example, they'll ask for help when frustrated rather than having a tantrum.
- What most parents think: 43% of parents incorrectly believe that toddlers can control their emotions by age 3, and 20% expect them to do so by age 2.
I did fine on the quiz. Turns out I do know a thing or two about my kid's development. How did you do?
Do you expect more or less of your toddler than he is developmentally ready for? Do you read parenting books or do you fly by the seat of your pants (like me)?