How can you begin growing your child’s brain
From The Learning Child set of talks and materials
If you want to learn how to effectively grow your child’s brain, firstly you need to start from the very beginning.
Your child’s brain has begun developing since conception. Meaning that by the time they are born, it will contain as many brain cells, or neurons, as your adult brain. Now, they simply need joining up. But how does this happen? And what impact are you really having on this process?
Through every experience your child has, synapses are firing throughout their brain. This is making connections deep within their brain, allowing their brain cells to interact with each other. And all of this informs how your child thinks, moves and behaves.
Every experience your child has is making these connections. Wiring their brain and establishing the person they will become
The process of mapping out these connections is like taking a stroll through a field of corn. That first unmapped walk will have little effect, but with every stroll we etch out our unique path. And as we do so, we make it stronger with every experience. In your infant’s brain, every experience is firing synapses to make these connections stronger and more permanent. Constructing and fine-tuning this amazing organ as it grows and develops .
The engagements you offer during this time are intensely powerful and influential. They are even enabling the rapid growth and development taking effect throughout their body. Strengthening their muscles and developing their internal systems. As well as establishing and reinforcing their visual, auditory and kinaesthetic processes.
With every experience, information is bombarding their senses. So, involve this powerful learning tool for deeper and more effective learning
However, in today’s fast paced, modern living, babies can often be separated from the ebb and flow of daily life. Either laid in a cot or playpen or alarmingly, placed in front of a screen. For substantial reasons that I explore in my talks, screens and young babies should never be mixed. But amplifying this disturbing trend are the opportunities that so many babies are being denied.
Consider for a moment what your child can see and hear when they are left in a sedentary position. Their position and balance receptors are not being activated. They are no longer witnessing verbal and non-verbal exchanges and communication. And they are certainly not practicing them.
Every moment your child spends like this, they are missing out. Unable to experience the complete range of sounds, sights and movements required for healthy growth and development. So, consider this if you want to effectively grow your child’s brain. And give them every opportunity to experience their world.
Consider the finite number of waking hours your child has, before this transformative period of growth is complete
So, allow your child every opportunity to practice using their body. Let them enjoy “chatting” or babbling to others. This is their early practice of the “serve and return” we need to communicate. And let them experience the world through all their senses.
Meet all their instinctive attempts at learning with support and encouragement. Even if this means everything must be touched and explored. And foster their love of learning as their mental and physical health flourishes.
As one experience informs how we respond to the next, you will be impacting all their future learning and development. Setting the foundations for the rest of their life through every rich and meaningful experience.
Dr Kathryn Peckham is an Early Childhood Consultant, author and researcher and the founder of Nurturing Childhoods. Providing all the knowledge, understanding and support you need to nurture your growing child. www.nurturingchildhoods.co.uk
DEVELOPING EVERY CHILD’S POTENTIAL