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  • Elenor MacGregor

Brain Hack to Boost Kid’s Memory 🧠

As parents, it's easy to find yourself

caught in the whirlwind of daily life, juggling responsibilities and constantly moving from one task to another. In this fast-paced world, it's easy for both adults and children to get swept up in a state of urgency. The pressure to perform, the need to check items off the to-do list, and the worry about what might happen next can dominate our thoughts and actions.

However, in the midst of this urgency, it's essential to consider how it might be affecting our children's and teens' memory. Are they truly absorbing and retaining the information they encounter throughout the day?

Let's explore a fascinating study from Duke University that sheds light on the impact of urgency versus curiosity on memory and how we can harness the power of curiosity to boost memory.

Curious vs. Urgent Thinking: A Brain Hack for Memory Boost

In a world that often prioritizes urgency, it's intriguing to discover the potential benefits of fostering curiosity in our children and teens. A recent study conducted at Duke University delved into this intriguing topic by analyzing people's memory of a video game after inducing either an urgent or curious state of mind.

The findings were illuminating: individuals who approached the task with a curious mindset remembered things better the next day compared to those in an urgent state of mind. This revelation is nothing short of remarkable because it suggests that we have the ability to shift our mindset and enhance memory through a simple change in approach.

Empowering Your Child's Memory: A Simple Practice

So, what can parents do to empower children's memory and encourage a curious mindset? It starts with small but meaningful steps:

  1. Take a deep breath: Before diving into homework or any learning activity, take a moment with your child to pause and take a deep breath. This simple act can help calm the mind and create a more receptive environment for learning.

  2. Set a positive intention: Encourage your child to set a positive intention for their task. What do they hope to achieve, discover, or learn during this activity? Focusing on a positive outcome can spark curiosity and engagement.

  3. Wonder: Embrace the spirit of wonder and curiosity. Encourage your child to ask questions, explore new angles, and find joy in the process of discovery.

In a world driven by urgency, it's essential to recognize the value of curiosity in enhancing memory and fostering a love for learning in our children and teens. The study from Duke University highlights the power of a curious mindset in improving memory retention—a skill that can benefit them throughout their academic journey and beyond.

So, the next time you sit down with your children to tackle homework or engage in any learning activity, consider taking a few moments to help them breathe, set positive intentions, and embrace wonder. By nurturing curiosity, you're not only boosting their memory but also encouraging a lifelong love for exploration and knowledge.

Will you give it a try? The potential benefits for your child's memory and overall well-being are boundless.


Sinclair AH, Wang YC, Adcock RA. Instructed motivational states bias reinforcement learning and memory formation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023;120(31). [link]


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