When it comes to child development, it’s nearly impossible to know everything. What’s worse is that there are a number of myths that perpetuate parenting guides and cultural assumptions. Familiarizing yourself with the myths that relate to child development can help you ensure you provide your child with the best environment and support that they need to grow.
The “Only Child”
As the standard family dynamic has shifted over the centuries, the stereotypes regarding certain children have increased. For the “only child,” there has been a common belief that they are selfish, spoiled, and dependent. While there may be some cases where this is true, most individuals without siblings are fully capable of independence and selflessness; they may receive more affection than children with siblings, but their natures are not significantly different just because of the circumstance of their birth.
If a young child experiences speech difficulties, you may be inclined to disregard them. Many people believe that children will often outgrow these issues. However, children who demonstrate speech or language delays could be showing signs of cognitive disorders or developmental issues; in this case, parents should seek help as early as they can. Intervening early can help determine whether the child needs treatment or speech therapy, and being proactive can help prevent unnecessary difficulties later in life.
External Intelligence Modifiers
In an ideal world, we might be able to influence our child’s abilities by playing certain music while they sleep or by purchasing specific toys, but that simply is not the case. Some companies like to boast that their product (usually a toy) can help your child become smarter. In almost all cases, this claim is false. Encouraging organic facilitation of skills like categorization, critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving is great for child development, but improving these skills does not necessarily raise a child’s intelligence.
Providing a stimulating environment will suffice in allowing for the natural growth of a child’s abilities; certain toys can provide additional stimuli, but they are far from necessary.
We want our children to feel encouraged, capable, and skilled so that they can have high self-esteem and experience success. However, it is important to be judicious in your delivery of praise. Offering compliments at every simple task will not encourage a child but instead show that the adults in their life have low expectations for them. Empty compliments mean nothing. Offering specific praise for an action, accomplishment, or idea will do much more to encourage self-esteem and productivity.
Failing to detect what facets of child development information is fact or fiction could lead to a flawed approach to parenting and education. Being aware of the distinctions between what is true and what is a myth can help you provide your child with a positive growth environment and help them develop in a natural, productive way.