Satisfying toddlers’ calls for attention cements bond

March 20th, 2012 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, March 20 (IANS) Satisfying toddlers’ calls for attention cements the bonds between the children and their parents in the long term.

A Concordia University study is the first to show that toddlers’ expectations of how their parent will respond to their needs for attention affects how eager they are to collaborate and learn.

Collaboration in toddlers has been linked to the acquisition of social rules and norms later in childhood, the journal Child Development reports.

Marie-Pierre Gosselin, doctoral candidate in psychology at Concordia, who led the study, explained that “toddlers whose parents have consistently responded positively to their attention-seeking expect interactions to be fulfilling”.

“As a result, they’re eager to collaborate with their parents’ attempts to socialize them,” added Gosselin, according to a Concordia statement.

While scientists and caregivers alike have long theorised that toddlers have certain expectations of their parent’s behaviour, no one had provided a reliable measure of those expectations.

By observing the quality of toddlers’ attention-seeking, Gosselin and co-author David R. Forman, currently at the State University of New York at Geneseo, were able to quantify toddlers’ expectations.

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