Why Toddlers Don't Do What They're Told

Why Toddlers Don't Do What They're Told

Alejandra Valera
Apr 10, 2009

The scenario is oh so familiar. You are talking to your toddler -- giving them important information or directions -- and the glazed "you-talking-to-me?" look is all to evident. Hey, guess what? They're not ignoring you, they are just saving the information you're providing for future reference.

According to an article in MSN Health, a new study, by psychology professor Yuko Munakata, Ph.D., which used a computer game to determine a child's "mental effort" showed that, "that 3-year-olds neither plan for the future nor live completely in the present. Instead, they call up the past as they need it."

"For example, let's say it's cold outside and you tell your 3-year-old to go get his jacket out of his bedroom and get ready to go outside," Chatham explained. "You might expect the child to plan for the future, [and] think, 'Okay, it's cold outside so the jacket will keep me warm.' But what we suggest is that this isn't what goes on in a 3-year-old's brain. Rather, they run outside, discover that it is cold, and then retrieve the memory of where their jacket is, and then they go get it."

We think the folks at the University of Colorado are just trying to make us feel better, but we'll take what we can get.

To read the complete article, visit article in MSN Health.

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