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Science Based Approach To A Child's Development

Child Development: What you learn and teach your child determines how they will respond to other people, how well they do in school and what success and achievements they will have or little in as they grow older.

What you learn and teach your child determines how they will respond to other people, how well they do in school and what success and achievements they will have or little in as they grow older
Science Based Approach To A Child's Development

Probably the most important part of a child’s life is the first three years under your control. By ‘control’ in that you have the obligations and the opportunity and specifically shape your child’s development in learning and interpersonal skills.

Children don’t simply learn by themselves to know what is right or wrong. What you learn and teach your child determines how they will respond to other people, how well they do in school and what success and achievements they will have or little in as they grow older.

The topic has many variables and scenarios which non-one cannot predict or control but with a few basic principles applied then it’s one less battle as your child grows towards to be a teenager, a few links added for further reading and assistance for more in-depth view of child development.

As parents, we are in charge of our children growth stages by the activities we introduce to our child. Of course parents take care of their kids while they grow and play but not everyone know how important for “developmental play” during the early years of a child.

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University has done extensive studies and termed this as developing the “architecture of the brain”. These early experiences affect the development of brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health.

Although the basic principle that “earlier is better than later” generally applies, the window of opportunity for brain architecture development remains open far beyond the age of three. The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood.

Harvard University ground-breaking research shows that one million new neural connections are formed every second, faster than at any other time in our lives. These contacts are made through a child’s relationships with parents and significant others, and its own experience (both good and bad) within their medium.

At an early stage, children will naturally reach out for interaction through babbling, facial expressions, and gestures; and adults respond with the same kind of vocalizing and gesturing back at them. In the absence of such responses or if the responses are unreliable or inappropriate; the brain’s architecture does not form as expected, which can lead to disparities in learning and behavior.

While the child seems to play during their first three years, playing is actually a child at work adding interpersonal skill social/emotional development building blocks when physical playing or through intellectual stimulation.

Therefore play is crucial for children to learn language, develop their executive functions for logic and planning, learn how to take risks and deal with failure, and increase their self-confidence and positive self-esteem for later in life in educational achievement, economic productivity, responsible citizenship, lifelong health, strong communities, and successful parenting of the next generation.

Of course, each child develops at their own rate, and will demonstrate greater skill in some areas than in others as they go through the various socialization stages of play but the developmental sequence is the same. Play forms the basis for success in language and academics, and developing coping skills and resilience by falling down and getting up again in a secure environment.

The first three years of life are important because the early experiences that the child have, positive and negative, makes a huge impression on their ‘new’ brains and bodies. Look at it this way, we know that an infant’s skin is far more sensitive to the sun than an adults because it hasn’t been exposed enough to the sun; but over time it becomes tougher.

Much the same is true of the rest of a child’s body, while none of us are born with a blank slate, our brain, and our emotions are very sensitive to new information. Simpler circuits come first and more complex brain circuits build on them later.

Genes provide the basic blueprint, but experiences influence how or whether genes are expressed. Together, they shape the quality of brain architecture and establish either a sturdy or a fragile foundation for all of the learning, health, and behavior that follow.

This does not mean that you have to be the perfect parent, but it does mean you need to pay attention to your children’s needs from infancy onward. By the time they reach school age, the trajectory of their future growth is set; and problems are much harder to fix.

Everyone has experienced the “Terrible Twos”, the “Inquisitive Threes” and the hormonal teenage years; but as young parents, very few understand that cognitive, social and emotional capabilities are inextricably linked throughout our lives with our genetic makeup and physical development. Influences begin prenatally, and provide a good, or not so good, foundation for future development.

The foundations for healthy development are positive love and affection for social and emotional growth; good nutrition for healthy bodies, as well as for healthy brain development; and positive, safe environments where a child’s needs are met i.e., you love your children enough to give them the right foods, a safe and positive home.

Children develop within an environment of relationships that begins in the family but also involves other adults who play important roles in their lives. This can include extended family members, providers of early care and education, nurses, social workers, coaches, and neighbors. These relationships affect virtually all aspects of development—intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and behavioral and their quality and stability in the early years lay the foundation that supports a wide range of later outcomes.

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