7 Ways Your Childhood Influences Your Adult Life

The older we get, the more we forget about our childhoods, or at least parts of them. But our early childhood has a substantial impact on our adult lives, including our relationships, career successes and open-mindedness.

These seven ways your childhood influences your adult life will help you understand why you approach certain life experiences the way you do, or may help you understand the kind of environment you should provide for your children.

1. Home Life At Age 3 Can Affect Academics

A 2014 study found that babies and toddlers that were raised in supportive and caring home environments tended to do better on standardized tests when they were older and were more likely to attain higher degrees as adults, according to NPR.

Specifically, the researchers found that 10 percent of someone’s academic achievement was correlated with the quality of their home life when they were 3 years old. One-tenth!

kids in school photo
Photo by John-Morgan

2. Divorce Could Affect Your Relationship With Your Parents

One study suggests that experiencing your parents’ divorce between the ages of 3 and 5 years old can lead you to have a more insecure relationship with them when you’re an adult—especially with your father, according to Business Insider.

argue photo
Photo by thedailyenglishshow

3. Working Moms Can Positively Impact Their Kids

Research from the Harvard Business School found that daughters who grew up with mothers that worked outside of the home went to school longer and were more likely to be in supervising roles at their jobs. They also earned 23 percent more money compared to girls who were raised by stay-at-home moms, according to Business Insider.

And, working moms can have a positive impact on their sons as well. The same study found that the sons of moms who worked outside of their homes were more likely to be involved as fathers. The study found that the sons spent seven and a half more hours per week on childcare and 25 minutes more on housework.

working mom photo
Photo by Costa4NY

4. Growing Up Poor Could Hurt Your Working Memory

A University of Oregon study found that people who grow up in a lower socioeconomic class end up having a lower working memory, which means an ability to hold multiple objects in their minds, during adulthood, according to Business Insider.

But, let’s remember, there are plenty of people who have great working memories and grew up with a lower socioeconomic status. It’s important to keep in mind that this is one study, and not a statement that is true in all cases.


5. Children With Good Self Control Are Likely To Function Better In Adulthood

One researcher told WebMD that parents should worry more about instilling self control in their children than higher-than-average self esteem. The former is more likely to help the child in every day tasks during adulthood.


6. Children Are More Likely To Be Successful If Their Mothers Took Maternity Leave

The children of mothers who took maternity leave after their birth were more likely to continue higher education, have a higher IQ and have higher income that children whose mothers didn’t have that luxury. Unfortunately, access to maternity leave is dependent on career and benefits, because the U.S. is the only industrialized country without a federal paid family leave policy.

mom and baby photo
Photo by donnierayjones

7. A’s For Effort: Teach Children To Strive For Growth

If you did well on tests as a child simply because of your innate intelligence, then you’re more likely to have a “fixed” mindset about academics, Stanford University professor Carol Dweck told Business Insider. But if children succeed because of their effort, they are more likely to develop a “growth” mindset, which is more important for long-term success.

kid jump photo
Photo by Marcus Hansson

Photo by Frédéric de Villamil


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About the Author
Josephine Yurcaba
Josephine Yurcaba is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer. She specializes in lifestyle content, women's issues, politics, and New York music. She has written for Bustle, The Daily Meal, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone.

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