Science Proves Moms Can Actually Feel Their Kids' Feelings

Photo: Kristen Curette Hine

"You won't understand how much I love you until you have a child of your own" is a common thing for mothers to say to their kids. A new study published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience attempts to explain just why the bond between a mother and child is so dang special.

Using brain imaging, researchers tested adolescents and their mothers on neural pathways of empathy. Participants were asked to imagine themselves in a distressing situation and then imagine a family member in the same one. They found that adolescents experience empathy for their mothers based on the quality of their relationships. Stronger maternal relationships lead to higher capacity for empathy in teens.

The reverse, however, was different. Mothers had "high child-self overlap" which means their brains showed reactions to distress that were almost identical, regardless of whether they were imagining themselves or their offspring. We've always known moms are superhuman, but the ability to feel deep empathy for their kids—so profound they actually feel their kids' feelings—is next-level.

Further proof of mom's superpowers? Their ability to heal—here are the best soothing home remedies from real moms.

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