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The mind of a child is a sponge, soaking up information from all available sources and rapidly learning cognitive skills.
And researchers have now found they are economical with their energy, only trying hard and putting in effort when they know it will be beneficial.
Element - Toddlers - Learning - Mechanisms - Adults
This element means toddlers' learning mechanisms are more complicated than previously thought, as they do not just simply mimic adults or try at random.
A study of 96 toddlers revealed that if they know success is impossible, they don't waste much energy trying.
Task - Irrespective
But if they know a task can be accomplished, irrespective of how easy it is, they will persevere.
Children also only ask for help if they actually need it.
Something - Parents - Hand
If it is impossible then they don't bother asking, but if they feel they should be able to succeed in something, but currently are not, they will then turn to their parents for a helping hand.
An experiment tested how a group of toddlers tackled various problems and how much energy they invested.
Reason - Task - Hurdle - Afterwards
It found that if they had no reason to believe a task could be accomplished, and they failed at the first hurdle, they didn't bother trying very hard afterwards.
However, if they were aware a task could be completed but it was difficult, they would persist for longer, even if they failed.
'Persistence - Role - Learning - Life - Outcomes
'Persistence is important and plays a role in learning and life outcomes like school performance and emotional well-being,' said Dr Kelsey Lucca, assistant professor of psychology at ASU and first author on the paper.
'But, it's not always a good idea to persist because effort is a limited resource, and deploying effort is metabolically costly, requiring time and energy.
Drives - Way
'What truly drives learning is knowing when to try and what the best way to try is.'
The research conducted shows young children...
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