My 3-year-old son remembers a lot. He talks about playing with his aunt’s dog (that happened a few weeks ago), our vacation to the Jersey shore (this past summer) and his old preschool (he hasn’t attended it in nearly a year.)
It’s tremendous fun to recount old memories with him and hear his take on past events–just one of the many joys of watching a child grow up into someone with whom you can actually have a meaningful conversation.
But new research indicates that even though he’s got the capacity to recall memories from his toddler years now, I shouldn’t expect him to retain these little nuggets a decade from now.
Psychologists at Emory University have determined that age 7 is about the time for the onset of childhood amnesia–a century-old term used to describe the dissipation of children’s earliest memories. Their findings were published in the journal Memory.