There's good news out there for parents who love to shop! Retail therapy, it turns out, is not just for adults — new research has revealed that shopping makes babies happy.
The Daily Mail published the results of a study conducted by Oxford University and the Open University, which found that "shopping trips are just as beneficial for the child’s development as painting or drawing activities" and better for social development than watching television or reading. This is exciting news for parents who like to comb the racks!
The findings were based on an economic survey in Germany which looked at the daily routines of 800 parents of two- and three-year-old children. Children who took part in shopping and arts and crafts activities has a significantly higher perceived level of happiness:
Researchers Professor Paul Anand and Dr Laurence Roope added that the more retail therapy the toddlers were exposed to, the happier they seemed to be, and the more developed their everyday skills became. Shopping may be beneficial because it involves changes of scenery from shop to shop, which improves the child's motor and social skills more than a sedentary activity, the report continued.
Shopping alongside a parent could be helpful in developing a child's social and decision-making skills, as well as serving as a bonding activity. Previous research has shown that retail therapy relieves sadness in adults, and so it makes sense that shopping could have positive effects on the happiness of a young child as well. The researchers hope to conduct a similar study with older children to explore how shopping influences development and happiness in different age groups. Sounds like some research we can get behind!