Embracing parenthood comes with accepting different kinds of unpredictable challenges.. Right from pregnancy, it is no walk in the park. You will have sleepless nights and exhausting days. There will be times when your kids say mean things to you or refuse to obey you. Sure, it’s a rewarding experience, and there’s nothing else like parenting, but that doesn’t discount the fact that it’s a tough job. When you found out that you were going to be a parent, you were probably overwhelmed with emotions of joy, fear, helplessness, excitement, and nervousness. Sounds about right? As much as you and your partner were excited to welcome a new member into your family, parenting is a huge change in your life, and that might actually freak you out!
Listening to people around you, reading, and watching parenting movies don’t help either. You are probably constantly wondering if you’re doing the right thing as a parent. Since parenting does not come with a rulebook, there’s no one right answer that fits all. Today, we are here with some parenting facts that you might or might not have heard. Keep reading as we spit out strange and surprising facts about parenting — it’s backed by science, so you know it’s true! Now, without further ado, let’s get into it:
Pregnancy Brain Is Real
Have you ever wondered what “pregnancy brain” means? If you’re a movie buff or love to binge-watch series, you would have probably come across references about a baby brain or a pregnancy brain. Turns out, it’s real, and they were not exaggerating! Studies found that pregnant women found it harder to choose the right words or focus on something than before they were pregnant (1). For example, a woman bearing a child forgets where she keeps her blanket or her phone.
It’s a known fact that pregnancy brings about tremendous changes in your body. But did you know that huge changes occur in your brain too? During pregnancy, your body is under immense stress. You also don’t get adequate sleep and feel exhausted. These factors could affect your memory, making you forgetful and lose sharpness. With hormones like progesterone and estrogen surging through your body (almost 40 times more), it’s no surprise that the neurons in your brain are affected, and you experience pregnancy fog, resulting in what is known as pregnancy brain (2).
Expressing Negative Emotions Are Good For Your Child
You would have probably heard several people tell you that you should shield your child from negative emotions. “Not in front of the kids”, is something you’ve most likely heard while growing up, but that could be an outdated idea.
A 2018 study conducted by the Washington State University found that it’s better to express your negative emotions healthily rather than suppress them in front of your kids. Many parents suppress negative emotions from their kids in an attempt to avoid conflict and protect them. But research says that kids pick up on emotional cues. So, even if you do not explicitly express your negative emotions, your kids feel that something negative has happened and are left feeling confused (3).
Therefore, allowing them to see both sides of the spectrum (positive and negative) helps them understand their own emotions better. It also teaches them to regulate their emotions and solve problems. When your kids see you getting angry or upset, they know it’s normal to feel that way. It doesn’t make them feel like it’s unusual and strange. So, go ahead and express your feelings!
Older Moms Raise Happier Kids
As women, we’ve always heard that we have to have kids when we are young because of our “ticking biological clock”. You can finally call bulls**t and tell society to take a hike because science has got your back! Research suggests that children with older moms thrive better. While the risk of pregnancy is higher when you have kids later, you tend to be a better parent once your baby arrives. Older women worry less during pregnancy and have a more positive attitude towards parenthood and their children. Higher maternal age is associated with better psychosocial well-being during the early days of pregnancy and in the initial days after birth (4).
Nuts Have Neuropsychological Benefits
There are several things you are encouraged to eat during pregnancy, and nuts are one of them. Did you know that consuming nuts regularly during the early stages of pregnancy can help your baby’s brain development? Studies show that mothers who consumed around 74 grams of nuts per week (on average) had children with better IQ, memory, attention, and concentration than their peers, whose mothers did not (5). However, ensure you are not allergic and consult your doctor before adding nuts to your daily diet.
Sibling Rivalry Can Actually Help In Conflict Resolutions
Once you welcome your second child into this world, chances are that your first child will go through pangs of jealousy and feelings of being left out. As they slowly grow older, parents often have to deal with the constant bickering’s and quarrels among their children. We generally have the notion that such quarrels are detrimental to their development. But research has shown that sibling rivalry can have many positive effects as well (6). Through these little conflicts, both kids learn how to stand their ground and speak up for themselves. So, instead of always trying to intervene in quarrels, parents can sometimes let their children resolve it among themselves. Of course, if the quarrel gets really out of control, parents have to step in and do some disciplining as and when necessary.
Parenting is a strange but rewarding experience. It’s a lifelong commitment and requires dedication, patience, and a lot of sacrifices. Remember that parenting has a learning curve, and there are no rules set in stone that make you the best. How many of these parenting facts surprised you? Comment below and let us know if you have any other parenting facts to share with us!
- Is \’Pregnancy Brain\’ Real?
- The Truth About Pregnancy Brain
- Emotional suppression has negative outcomes on children
- Children with older mothers thrive better
- Benefits of Nut Consumption During Pregnancy
- Sibling Relationships and Influences in Childhood and Adolescence