Baby illusion

Baby illusion.

Many mothers think about their youngest child is smaller than he or she in actuality is, according to new research. The finding may help explain why many of these children are referred to as the "baby of the family," well into adulthood. It also offers a percipience why a first child suddenly seems much larger when a young sibling is born full report. Until the arrival of the new child, parents experience what is called a "baby illusion," said the authors of the study, which was published Dec 16, 2013 in the paper Current Biology.

And "Contrary to what many may think, this isn't occurrence just because the older child looks so big compared to a baby," Jordy Kaufman, of Swinburne University of Technology, in Australia, said in a quarterly flash release. "It actually happens because all along the parents were under an illusion that their first child was smaller than he or she in effect was bonuses. When the new baby is born, the spell is broken and parents now see their older youth as he or she really is".

In this study, the researchers asked about 750 mothers if they remembered a unanticipated change in their first child's size after the birth of their second child, and 70 percent of the mothers said they did. The mothers were then asked to judge the height of their young children (aged 2 to 6) by placing a yardstick on a blank wall. The mothers underestimated the elevation of the youngest child by nearly 3 inches on average, while height estimates for the oldest child were nearly accurate. "The frequency implication is that we may treat our youngest children as if they are actually younger than they really are. In other words, our scrutiny potentially explains why the 'baby of the family' never outgrows that label. To the parents, the child of the family may always be 'the baby'".

tag : child mothers parents family children illusion first youngest really

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Dr. Alejandra Falto

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