Lessons from the longest study on human development | Helen Pearson

Lessons from the longest study on human development | Helen Pearson

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  1. this is also a motivation for everybody that as a society we should invest in helping the poor to live a sustainable life.
    a person cannot reach a higher level of human development when everyday his main goal is to answer to the call of his rumbling stomach and the cycle goes on.

  2. The data showed that children who were reading for pleasure at the ages of five and 10 were more likely to go on in school better, on average, on school tests later in their lives. And not just tests of reading, but tests of spelling and maths as well.(finding)

  3. After World War II researchers in the UK were curious about the conditions for mothers in the country. They decided to survey every woman who gave birth over a one-week period in 1946 and gathered around 14,000 meticulous questionnaires about what it was like giving birth in Britain at the time. They have been repeating this, generation after generation, surveying a total of 70,000 individuals and doing an ongoing investigation of the participants’ lives over a 70-year time period. The surveys collect information about their education, employment, family, parenting, physical and mental health. They also consider social attitudes and apply cognitive tests at different ages.

    Although multiple findings have resulted from the study, Helen Pearson (journalist, author, and mother) concludes two key points. Her first takeaway is that on average children born into poverty grow up to do less well by every measure. This is not shocking, but it is still important to mention, as it is related to the second point: parenting matters.

    Researchers compared kids born in similar disadvantaged circumstances and then followed them to see which ones beat the odds and why. This has allowed researchers to begin to pinpoint which parental behaviors are the most significant when it comes to helping kids thrive. The good news is that most of them are available to any parent, no matter their wealth.

    These are some of the things that parents do that have been associated with improved outcomes:
    • Talking and listening to their kids
    • Clearly communicating interest and ambition for their future
    • Being warm and loving
    • Teaching them letters and numbers
    • Going on excursions together
    • Reading to them every day
    • Encouraging them to read for pleasure
    • Maintaining a regular bedtime

    Although most (or all!) of these things are very obvious, they are so simple that they can be forgotten or pushed aside by our full agendas and our tendency to over-complicate things. Spending quality time with our kids is simply that – taking a moment to actually observe them, intently listen to what they say, and join in on the conversation! When it comes to parenting, every small thing counts. As trivial as it might be for you, it means a lot to your children. They take notice. It’s the little things you do together, even the routine ones, that count and have a huge impact on their future.(methodology and conclusion)

  4. My parents had traumatic upbringings and us 3 brothers experienced the same. I wished my dad stop drinking, I wished my mom was available. I became a troubled boy very young and eventually surrendered to slowly killing myself with drugs because I was too afraid to leave this earth and I truly didn’t want to. Towards the end I was considering this the answer-I’m so glad that never happened! I’m happy to say I’m approaching 2 years sober and I finally learned to love myself more. I’m not there 100% but I’m so much better than I ever have been! I hope to help other kids or even addicts! I want others to know true joy and to stop hurting themselves over someone’s else’s actions or things out of their control!

  5. Having parents that have their lives sorted out and are able to provide a loving yet authoritative parenting style for their children means that you are in a good position to jump further. Privilege is like compound interest, the more of it you have the more you are likely to be successful. Privileges such as having two parents, a peaceful and loving home, good quality food, good relationships, nice clothes and a clean and healthy body, the ability to pursue sports and hobbies, enough toys to play with, a holiday abroad and day trips to the zoo or a museum… it builds connections in a child's brain, gives them confidence and sets them up for life.

  6. The longest study I think is actually the Grant Study, which is tracking the lives of Harvard University undergraduates as well as an expanded cohort of groups in the U.S. It's part of the Study of Adult Development at Harvard Medical School. I recommend reading the works of one of its Directors, George Vaillant, including the excellent "Triumphs of Experience."