The app ‘Växa och upptäcka världen’ (the Swedish version of ‘The wonder weeks’) is one of the most popular paid-for parenting apps in Sweden, but feelings are divided when it comes to its proven benefits.
Contradicted by research
As presented in a recent article at DN’s Insidan: focused on matters such as mental health, relationship and family, Gustaf Gredebäck, a professor in developmental psychology at Uppsala University, questions the popular app’s validity and accuracy.
“For example, there is no research that supports that children develop step-by-step, those are very old ideas from the 70s and the early 80s,” Gredebäck states.
However, he maintains that the app does not pose any physical risks, but argues that does not serve any real scientifically proven purpose either.
The wonder weeks
However, according to Xaviera Plas, CEO and co-author of book that the app is based on, “wonder weeks are developmental leaps,” and knowing about when and how these ‘leaps’ occur can be pivotal when you are parenting a newborn to 20 month old.
“Until not so long ago, we thought babies developed gradually. Now, we know that development occurs in leaps. It takes a brain change to enable a baby to learn and do new things,” Plas explains.
Feedback from its users also paints the app in a very positive light: ”[where] in those first months, it definitely helped, ” and it has been awarded multiple times as one of the top parenting apps out there.
The app is clearly well-liked by its audience, both in Sweden and around the world. But as presented by reporter Jonas Desai, this popularity does not come without its share of seemingly valid critique.
Downside to using the app
Gredebäck, for one, feels that when parents relate to their baby through the information provided by the app, this comes with possible risks:
“Making it so that you are not actually helping your child, and you might miss an opportunity to change something in your circumstances that [could] make it easier to deal with for both child and parents”.
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