Mamas of fearless children often encourage their wild child's eager behavior, but a new study may have them trying to instill a lil fear factor into their lives. Results from a 20-year study show that children who lack the ability to fear may have a dysfunction with their amygdala — the part of the brain linked to fear conditioning, emotions, and one's mental state. Researchers found children who showed no fear were often more likely to go against authorities and find themselves in trouble later in life. In cases where children may show a lack of respect for rules or even the law, parents can help coach their child into a more stable state. According to the study's research associate Yu Gao:
Some at-risk children between the ages of 3 and 5 who have benefited from those programs, which include sound nutrition, adequate physical exercise, and cognitive brain stimulation, had shown an improvement in brain functioning by age 11 that reduced the chances of criminal behavior by 35 percent 20 years later.
While it is not a black and white determining factor, it does bring some interesting insight into the workings of lil brains and what we can do to help steer them clear of harmful habits.