Understanding Your Preschooler’s Memory
Contrary to what adults believe, children can remember and recollect things that they have seen and experienced. Wondering when kids start to remember things? Studies have proved that even the power of imitation in children emanates from the fact that they have memory power.
Parents believe that young children and preschoolers live in the present and don’t have the ability to form memories or recollect things. However, this is far from being the truth. Child experts have conducted studies that have proved that even a child as young as 6-months-old has the power of recollecting things that are explained to him using actions and pictures.
What do Small Children Remember- The Truth Unfolded
1. A Pandora’s Box
Children can remember a lot of things that they have seen and the places they have visited. However, when it comes to storing these memories in their minds, it’s not done in an organised manner. Instead, a child’s mind resembles a Pandora’s box with a bevy of memories thrown in together. So, the child may remember an event correctly and even elaborately but might not be able to tell you the exact date or place when it happened.
2. Remembering Experiences
When it comes to the things children will remember, it has often been cited that preschoolers particularly remember the events that they enjoyed to the fullest. This could be anything from a visit to an amusement park or meeting a favourite cartoon character. What’s more, these memories are so well etched in the young mind that the child is able to explain the event with vivid details. Experts believe that such memories stay even to adulthood.
3. Science Kicks in
There is a very simple explanation for childhood amnesia and children forgetting things. There are two parts of the brain that play a crucial role in the formation and keeping of memories. These are Hippocampus(responsible for storing memories) and Prefrontal Cortex(responsible for retrieving the memories stored in the recesses of the brain). These two neurological parts kick into action from a very young age in a child. However, their power to remember and recollect doesn’t kick in immediately.
4. Selective Memory
Doctors often compare a child’s memories of childhood to a colander. Just like colander holds a few things and rejects the others, a child’s mind also holds on to things that are really interesting and forgets the rest. For a very young child, the ability of retention is less and thus, he remembers lesser things. His memories get stronger and more organised with age.
5. Effective Communication
Remembering things from childhood comes more easily to children whose parents talk to them a lot about the events of the day. Also, children whose parents talk to them about childhood have more recollection of their early days. Girls, it has been seen, often have more vivid memories that their male counterparts.
6. When do Kids Start to Remember Things
Even a 9-month-old baby can remember certain actions for a few days. However, this memory is short term and fades with time. A child’s memory improves with time and memories start sticking from as early as 24months.