Childhood is considered to be the most beautiful period of our lives. Part of the beauty that makes it what it is, is the naive imagination that often leads to the creation of the craziest of ideas that most children strongly believe in. We believe in the monsters under our beds, in the troll lurking in the forest, in the famous “babies come from storks” saying and many more. However, these are particular scenarios – not every child has the wild imagination that allows them think up stories of flying bulls and princesses of lightning. Children are united by a set of general beliefs that we end up dismissing as adults as nothing more than a childhood trifle. Well, take this, adults: science proves that they’re as accurate as they get. No, not the ones about trolls in forests (although that’d be both amazing and potentially dangerous). They’re the following 5 Childhood Myths Proven Scientifically True.
1. Parents’ Favorite Child
Has everyone seen the skit with the armed robbery that ended with a mom picking her favorite son? No? Well, just in case the notion is a blur, here’s what happens. The skit displays a scenario in which a couple of armed robbers break into the house of a loving suburban, tax paying family. They take everyone hostage and threaten to do very, very bad things, unless… the mother takes the gun and shoots one of her sons. She takes the gun, aims it at one of the boys and fortunately nothing comes out. The skit grandly concludes with the robbers taking off their masks and leaving, but only after turning to the two boys and saying the following words:
“There. Now you know who your mother prefers. Do what you want with your information.”
Why am I referencing this slightly grim, slightly hilarious skit? Because it bears a seed of truth. As much as parents vehemently deny that they could possibly favor one child over another, it’s perfectly normal, biologically wise, for the contrary to happen. How does science explain this? Easily: they put the blame on genetics. Roughly 65 percent of mothers and 70 percent of fathers have a favorite child, usually the oldest son and, respectively, the youngest daughter. And scientists have concluded that this happens because parents tend to prefer the child who they deem as most likely to be successful and proudly carry the family genes further. It’s nothing but natural selection at its finest.
But don’t worry – most parents don’t do it on purpose. This particular favoritism is subconscious and it has nothing to do with you personally. Unless you’re a middle child, who scientists have said to always finish last in family favoritism, then you can take it personally.
2. Sucking On A Wound Helps It Heal
Unless we’re talking about a parent who’s legitimately held their child captive in a glass bubble their entire life, there aren’t any children who have managed to safely traverse childhood without a single bruise. As we have it, childhood can be a pretty perilous period of our lives. Falling off a swing, tripping over your own feet and landing face first in a pile of dirt, getting a little too curious around a pot of boiling water: these are some common occurrences that have toughened children up and initiated them in the barbaric concept that is life. And although it may seem like every child’s first instinct is to run screaming and bawling into their mother’s arms, let’s be honest, when we were children and managed to get the most painful paper cut ever, we’d immediately stick that thumb in our mouths.
Scientists confirm that, surprisingly, this actually helps in diminishing the pain. After conducting several experiments that involved exposing wounds to different types of substances, they’ve discovered that saliva is made of a series of components that can speed up the healing process of a wound.
Children obviously don’t know the technical reasoning behind it, but they definitely possess the subconscious knowledge that doing this is going to help them. So, mothers, before you rush to tell your kid to take their thumb out of their mouth, you should consider that this is going to genuinely help.
3. Vegetables And Medicine Do Taste Worse
A child’s greatest enemy isn’t the ever so dreadful Boogeyman. No dragon, ghost or generally horrible entity that’s been created with the sole purpose of scaring little children can compare to the horrors of medicine and vegetables. It’s very difficult to find a child who can explain from the top of his or her lungs that they love broccoli. No sane infant is going to promise to clean their room in exchange for cabbage. Parents won’t have to lock away in a cupboard a jar of spinach to keep their kid from stealing from it. Well, you get the idea. Children hate vegetables, period. What do they have against medicine, you may ask?
Medicine isn’t exactly soothing for our taste buds, let alone a kid’s. And that’s because children are actually the possessors of considerably more taste buds than in the case of adults. As we grow up, roughly two thirds of our little taste sensors disappear into the void and leave us forever, making us less sensitive to otherwise horribly tasting aliments. For a child, every bite in a green vegetable and every spoon of medicine is a wild trip from start to finish, in the most negative of senses. More taste buds unfortunately means better detection of bitter and sour tastes.
4. There Is Always Room For Dessert
Are children cows? This question comes in reference to one of the oldest tricks in a child’s handbook: claiming that they’ve had enough of mom’s potato salad and then being suddenly ready to shovel down three slices of chocolate cake. In a situation like this, the only logical explanation is that they possess a secondary stomach meant to deposit only sweet treats.
That’s not exactly how it goes, according to scientists, though the reason does involve our stomachs. Studies have shown that glucose is responsible for stomach contractions. The simple thought or scent of something sugary is going to amplify our sweet tooth and suddenly boost our appetite again. Taking a bite out of the delicious, sweet treasure contracts it even more. So, basically, even if we’ve stuffed ourselves near explosion, our stomach is going to make sure there is always extra room for dessert.
5. Rereading Is Beneficial
Anyone who’s ever had the blessing of sharing their reading capacities with a child before bedtime can attest that it’s completely useless to try and bring diversity into the mix. A kid will always have a favorite bedtime story. And a favorite toy, favorite movie, favorite coloring book. Unlike us gullible, easy to bore adults, children tend to get caught in an infinite loop of favorite things. If you think that rereading Snow White for the tenth time or watching the entirety of Shrek the third time this week is something you should try to talk your child out of, think again.
Studies show (there we go again) that children who get caught in the vicious cycle of repetition tend to perform better at school, in terms of reading comprehension and vocabulary at disposal. Moreover, we supposedly repeatedly return to our favorite things to seek for a deeper, more emotional meaning. So next time you’re being forced to see Frozen, the sing-along version, for the fiftieth time, remember that this is all for our mental health.
With the aid of science, children are once again proven to have exceptional hidden talents and instincts. There is a reason why all of these 5 Childhood Myths Proven Scientifically True are a common, recurring theme in most, if not all, children. That’s because, like most things, they are hammered into every child’s genetic built.