Your Toddler Has ‘Infant Amnesia’ So Telling Them ‘No’ Is Pretty Useless

Toddlers Have Infant Amnesia New StudyThere may be a reason your two-year-old keeps stealing your iPhone and trying to wash their stuffed animals in the toilet – when you tell them “No” they have no idea what the hell you are talking about. Well, they may understand at the moment what you are saying, but they forget a few seconds later due to what a Canadian scientist is calling “infant amnesia.” Toddlers get all the breaks with stuff and get to have these awesome built-in excuses for bad behavior, but all us dumb adults get is “Oh I was drunk” or “Oh I forgot because Game Of Thrones was on.” From the Daily Mail:

Dr Paul Frankland, a senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, theorizes that this ‘infantile amnesia’ is due to the rapid development of nerve cells in the hippocampus – the part of the brain that registers events and stores them as memories.

Since neurons develop more slowly after the age of three, only then is a child is able to form and maintain long-term memories.

n his study, which was presented Friday at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience, Dr Frankland explained how the hippocampus’s development is a factor in ‘infantile amnesia’.

Biologically, the role of the hippocampus is to record each event, as well as ‘file’ them in the brain for long-term storage.

But during the first three years of life, so much energy is spent forming new neurons in the hippocampus that the ‘filing’ task is never carried out.

So the problem, says Dr Frankland, is a simple case of overload.

So much for trying to discipline your kid during the “terrible twos” or taking them to Disney World as a toddler or trying to create happy funtime Christmas memories. Your kid is not going to remember shit about this. I suppose it is kind of cute that their tiny baby brains are  too busy creating new neurons to actually care that you are yelling at them to stop throwing their blocks, but it’s hard to remember that when you get a block thrown at your forehead.  (Photo:  Patrick Breig/shutterstock)

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