The next time your child spills juice all over the floor or throws a tantrum, breath in and respond lovingly as your reaction could help boost their brainpower, says latest research.
A new study has found school children with a larger hippocampus, a part of the brain important for memory, learning and stress response, had nurturing and supportive mums during their early childhood.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in the US, observed how mums behaved towards their kids when put in a stressful situation as part of this childhood depression study of 92 children.
When the children were aged between 4 and 7, they were left in a room with their mums and a brightly wrapped present and told they couldn’t open the present until their mums finished some paperwork.
The children returned for brain imaging when they were 7 and 10 years old. From the scans, the researchers found children whose mums reassured or had been patient with them during the observation years earlier, had a 10% bigger hippocampus than children whose mums were less supportive.
Despite the study showing that a nurturing mum can help with children’s brain growth, it also found that a mum’s love had less influence on children with early life depression. This condition affects about 1% of preschoolers.