Can a Raisin Predict Your Child's Academic Future? Experts Say Yes

Raisins.  They're sweet, have a lot of vitamins,  and make breads and cookies taste good.  But did you know they can predict how smart your toddler will perform academically at age eight, according to research conducted at the University of Warwick.

It's not quite as ground-breaking as it sounds.  It's simply a test to see how long a 20-month old child can wait to pick up a raisin in front of them.

 In the study toddlers were given a raisin that was placed under an opaque cup within easy reach. After three training runs toddlers were asked to wait until they were told (60 seconds) they could touch and eat the raisin. During the study it was found that those who were born very prematurely were more likely to take the raisin before the allotted time, according to newswise.com.

In a follow on-study the academics found that those who couldn’t inhibit their behavior as toddlers weren’t performing as well in school as their full-term peers seven years later.

 Around age eight, the same children were evaluated by a team of psychologists and pediatricians using three different behavior ratings of attention from mothers, psychologists and the whole research team. Academic achievement—including mathematics, reading and spelling/writing—was assessed using standardized tests.

The findings concluded that the lower the gestational age, the lower a toddler's inhibitory control—and the more likely those children would have poor attention skills and low academic achievement at eight years old.

So are you going to run out and get raisins for your toddlers?  Probably not.  It's all about delayed gratification and they didn't do any tests with teens.  But we all know how well that works with them!   



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