There have been many studies showing that there’s some truth to the saying that “old dogs can’t learn new tricks” – or rather that it’s harder for them. In other words, the best time to learn something new is when you’re a child, because that’s when your brain is still developing and forming the majority of the connections between the neurons that form the mental network and memory resources that are the basis of any type of skill. For example, that’s why children pick up languages so easily, and why it’s so much harder to learn a new language as an adult. However, it’s never too late to learn anything! It just might take a little more time. What’s more, learning and memorizing new skills or new information helps keep your brain flexible and many studies have proven that keeping your brain active helps prevent age-related problems like dementia.
This all means that even as an adult you can start learning a new skill like touch typing, but that it’s also a great idea to encourage your children to learn that skill as soon as possible. As a recent study shows, it’s also a good idea to keep this encouragement going even into the teenage years and beyond, because for some children that hyper-flexible state of mind continues to exist longer than previously thought. The study focused on high-IQ children and found that the intense learning period seems to stretch out for a few more years, allowing them to pick up skills more easily. But there’s no reason why we can’t encourage all children to keep their minds open and willing to learn, especially since as adults this habit of learning new things will help in further education and school. Whether it’s learning touch typing or a new language or any other skill, your age shouldn’t stop you, and it’s never to late to begin!
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