Babies and Hard Work

(This is an opinion on the article Babies can learn that hard work pays off from ScienceDaily on 21 September 2017.)

A recent study in Massachusetts Institute of Technology points to babies as young as 15 months can learn through advice. As they see adults struggle before success, they tend to emulate this in their own tasks.

The value of effort is emphasized, but its lasting effects are not yet known. These findings coming from laboratory settings are beneficial to parents who are trying to instill the value of effort to their children.

“There’s some pressure on parents to make everything look easy and not get frustrated in front of their children,” says Laura Schulz, a professor of cognitive science at MIT. “There’s nothing you can learn from a laboratory study that directly applies to parenting, but this does at least suggest that it may not be a bad thing to show your children that you are working hard to achieve your goals.”

Leonard and Schulz were interested in studying how children might learn, at a very early age, how to decide when to try hard and when it’s not worth the effort. Schulz’ previous work has shown that babies can learn causal relationships from just a few examples.

While growing up, we were exposed to the constant struggle and stories of great efforts by our parents in trying to provide for us better lives. They never shielded us from seeing the difficulties they’ve tried to conquer in life.

In this study, we can see the great value of life’s lessons brought forth by our own parents through the years. I believe the same example should be shown by our generation when it comes to parenting.

These lessons will enhance our children’s appreciation of hard work, patience and satisfaction in life.

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