Researchers at the Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington have discovered something that may surprise many parents. Toddlers are more intuitive than we may think, and spend time “regulating” their behavior to get the best outcome to certain situations, and depending on the emotional cues of the adults around them.
To put it more clearly: Even at two years old, kids pick up on the attitudes and behaviors exhibited by everyone around them, and look for ways to “keep the peace.”
In this fascinating experiment, one researcher shows a cute little boy a blue box, and joyfully and enthusiastically encourages him to play with the toy — and he happily obliges.
Moments later, another researcher walks in and sits down next to the boy as he’s shown a second toy. Before he can play with it, however, the second researcher loudly proclaims her annoyance at the toy.
When the boy is finally given the second toy to play with, his expression says it all: I won’t play with this – even though I want to – because it seems like this toy makes her mad.
This is such an interesting look into incredibly smart, incredibly intuitive child brain! Parents, this is more proof of how powerful our roles are in our children’s lives.
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