#Trending: Modern parenting may hinder your child's brain development

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A recent study has found that modern parenting may not be the best thing for your child's brain development. Read on to know more

The modern parenting practice of letting infants sleep in a different room or feeding them baby formula even though they maybe younger than six months, may not be beneficial to your child's development after all.

Researchers at the the University of Notre Dame, have found that social practices and modern beliefs are preventing healthy brain and emotional development among children.

What the study says

In the study, which was presented recently at a symposium at the University of Notre Dame, Darcia Narvaez, Notre Dame professor of psychology observed that ill-advised practices and beliefs have become commonplace in our culture.

"Things such as the use of infant formula, the isolation of infants in their own rooms or the belief that responding too quickly to a fussing baby will ‘spoil’ them," said Narvaez in a release by the university.

Here are some of its prominent findings:

  • This new research links certain early, nurturing parenting practices to have specific, healthy emotional outcomes in adulthood. The research has opened doors for many experts to rethink some of the modern, cultural child-rearing 'norms.'
  • Breastfeeding infants, responding to their cries, constant touch and having multiple (adult) caregivers positively impact the development of the brain. This not only shapes their personality, but also helps their physical health and moral development.
  • The research also points that responding to a baby's need can influence their conscience development, positive touch affects their reaction to stress, empathy and impulse control.
  • Responding to the child and free play in nature also influences their social capacities and aggression.
  • Multiple adult caregivers predicts the IQ and ego resilience of children.

Narvaez also points that the United States has shown a significant downward trajectory on all of these care characteristics.

"Instead of being held, infants spend much more time in carriers, car seats and strollers than they did in the past. Only about 15 percent of mothers are breastfeeding at all by 12 months, extended families are broken up and free play allowed by parents has decreased dramatically since 1970," she states in the press release.

This trend is fast catching up in India, with modern Indian parents trying to replicate their western counterparts.

Read: 5 easy ways for working parents to sneak in more time with their kids

So what should modern parenting entail?

Narvaez suggests that working parents who follow such modern parenting practices should take up a creative activity with the child so they can learn to grow together.

This is because a person's right brain, which governs self-regulation, empathy and creativity grows throughout life. The right brain, however, grows through physical experiences like playing or dancing.

Watch: Why traditional parenting is better than modern parenting 

(Image courtesy: Images, CDN)

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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