Myth 35: There are different “learning styles”.

We’ve all grown up being told that we learn better in different ways: some by doing, some by seeing, some by hearing…  This notion supported by the very real feeling that we do, in fact, absorb information better in some learning environments than in others.  Well, the Association for Psychological Science now says that learning styles are all a bunch of hooey.  They have reviewed all recognized studies that claim that a “visual learner” or an “auditory learner” exists, and have concluded that those studies “have not used the type of randomized research designs that would make their findings credible.”  That being said, it is still entirely possible that “learning styles” actually do exist, but basically what APS has declared is that nobody has ever sufficiently proven it. Continue reading

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Myth 32: There’s Something Wrong With A Bedwetter

7-31toiletOnce our children outgrow diapers, we all hope that they will enjoy comfortable nights of sleep in a dry bed.  Also, more practically, we want them to be able to sleep over at friends’ houses or in a hotel bed without worry that they will soil the bed or suffer embarrassment.  But what about the child who, despite diligent night-training, continues to sleep right through the urge to use the bathroom. Is it his fault? Is it ours? Continue reading

Myth 31: All Anesthetics During Birth Harm Babies’ Brains

Anesthesia

No less a revered medical institution than the Mayo Clinic, the saviors of severely medically challenged children nationwide, have studied and declared that anesthetics used during cesarean births do not cause children to have brain problems. Continue reading

Myth 23: Breastfeeding prevents obesity

1-23babybottle1According to David Barker, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Southampton, UK and professor of Cardiovascular in the Department of Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University and one of the authors of the report, “A longer period of breastfeeding was associated with lower BMI (a measure for weight) at one year of age. This relationship disappeared by the age of 7 years.” Similarly, there was no significant difference in BMI at the age of 60 years associated with duration of breastfeeding.

These findings may help explain why some studies that examined breastfed infants during the first year of life suggested a protective effect of breastfeeding and obesity, whereas other studies that examined the relationship later in life have found no such effect. Continue reading

Myth 18: Light drinking in pregnancy is bad for children.

11-7wineChildren born to mothers who drink lightly during pregnancy – as defined as 1–2 units per week or per occasion – are not at increased risk of behavioral difficulties or cognitive deficits compared with children of abstinent mothers, according to a new study led by researchers at University College London (UCL)

Continue reading

Myth 6: A small child who hits is being mean.

ImageJean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist who pioneered much modern thought in the area of childhood development, says that children only begin to grasp the concept of empathy at 10 years and older. Only at that age do they begin to really see other points of view and appreciate different worlds from their own. So if the 4 year old bonks the 2 year old on the head with a toy sword, he should be corrected, but it doesn’t mean you are raising a sociopath.