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4 Questionable Behaviors With Surprising Benefits

Every parent has had a moment where they’ve stared at their screaming, tantruming child and wondered, “Am I doing this wrong? Am I creating a monster?”

Raising a child into adulthood is a path full of struggles. We all want our children to be the sort of perfect angels that will make other parents coo in awe and envy, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

As it turns out, though, raising a perfect child might not be such a great thing after all. According to psychologists, some of those things your children do that drive you insane are actually working wonders for their development – and might be great signs about their futures.

1 | Children who lie are smarter.

The first time I caught my child lying, I was furious. He had just spilled his drink on the floor, and went straight for a bald-faced lie.

“I didn’t do that,” he told me, the milk still pouring out of the cup in his hand. He looked at the mess for a second, thought about it, and decided to throw in an, “I think Dada did that.”

I was angry, of course – but maybe I should have been delighted. Because according to psychologists, a child’s first lie is actually a milestone of their intellectual development.

Every child, without exception, will lie to their parents at least once. Normally, these lies start when the child is two or three. By the age of four, they will start getting a bit more believable – and that’s because the child starts being able to understand your perspective.

If your child starts lying earlier, though, it’s actually a great sign that you’re raising a genius. Lying at a young age, according to researchers, is actually a sign that the child is exceptionally capable of carrying out complex cognitive tasks.

Lying is a really difficult to do. A lying child is suppressing his instincts so that he can accomplish a goal. He has to look at reality and creatively construe it, and he has to memorize the details of the lie to keep it up. A child who can pull it off, then, is demonstrating some impressive abilities.

So, if your child lies to your face, you might not need to panic. You’re not raising a criminal – your child’s just getting a little smarter.

2 | Stubborn kids grow up to become wealthier adults.

Some children make you fight tooth-and-nail over everything. It can be a parent’s biggest worry – we dedicate amazing amounts of energy to begging our children to listen and to just do what they are told.

If your child doesn’t, though, it might actually be great news. According to one study, those stubborn kids are destined to grow up and get rich.

A group of scientists followed 700 kids over decades to find out which childhood traits lead to success later in life. Year after year, they would check in on the children, take note of their personalities, and find out how they were doing.

When the participants were 40 years old, the ones who had gotten rich all had something in common – they were the ones who didn’t listen when their parents told them what to do. Of every trait they looked at, stubbornness was the biggest indicator of future success.

According to the researchers, this might be because being stubborn is actually incredibly useful in adult life. Stubborn children are more competitive in class, so they get better grades. They’re more demanding at work, so they earn better salaries. And they’re more ambitious, because they don’t mind upsetting a few friends to get further ahead.

3 | Talking to imaginary friends helps kids solve problems.

It can be kind of creepy to see your kid chatting it up with an invisible friend. When your child starts bonding with someone who isn’t there, it’s hard not to let scenes from “The Shining” come to mind, and it can be tempting to worry about your child’s social future.

Children who talk to imaginary friends, however, actually grow up psychologically healthier. They’re doing more than playing – they’re practicing talking themselves through problems.

These children are learning a skill called “private speech,” which is the ability to talk to yourself. It’s a skill that’s going to make them much better at solving difficult tasks later in life. Private speech helps them control their own behavior, figure out difficult tasks, and regulate their own emotions. It also gives them stronger memories, motivations, and imaginations.

So, a child’s imaginary friend might make it look like they’re going crazy – but it’s actually going to keep them sane.

4 | Kids who try to break their own necks become better at making decisions.

Watching your child dangle from the cracking branch of a tree is terrifying. Parents’ minds almost seem to be programmed to flash through every possible thing that could go wrong, and then to convince you that every one of these terrible things are definitely going to happen.

It’s tempting to pull your child down and keep them safe inside – and a lot of parents do. Dangerous play is far less common today than it was in our parents’ generation – and it’s having an impact.

Children who play dangerous, risky games are actually doing what they are evolutionarily programmed to do. Just like roughhousing animals, they are learning to regulate fear and anger and to respond to danger.

Without dangerous play, children don’t learn these skills – so they grow up more anxious and less capable of making difficult decisions. This is so serious that the number of young people suffering from anxiety today is at least five times as high as it was in the 1950s.

It’s easy to worry about your children. Every bad action and every bad trait can seem like a crisis that’s going to balloon into a catastrophe in their adult years. The truth is that everything your child is going through is normal – and it’s all just going to make them stronger down the road.

It’s okay for your child to be a little bit less than perfect right now. In fact, it’s a good thing.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.

Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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