The mind is a social entity. Children’s brains grow and thrive through interactions with their parents and other caregivers.
Want to raise a happy, lifelong learner?
Keep these ideas in mind…
1. Happy voices support early childhood development.
Taking care of babies is a big job. Infants depend on caregivers for everything, every minute. Understandably, parents can easily become stressed, tired and overwhelmed. Yet, we know that harsh and angry words can confuse infants and interfere with early childhood development.
In contrast, loving interactions with caring adults actually stimulate infants’ brains and help them meet important baby milestones. Warm, nurturing interactions cause neural connections to get stronger and new connections to grow!
Your mood matters.
So ask for help when needed, find ways to get a break, and learn brain calming practices that will soothe both you and baby.
2. Your baby’s curiosity needs your attention to grow.
Babies are born curious about the world. But, whether that curiosity thrives depends on how you and other caregivers respond.
If your child becomes interested in a leaf on the ground, she will lose interest if you ignore that little leaf. That leaf might be familiar to you, but it is a source of fascination for your baby.
If you get excited about your child’s discovery, he is powerfully motivated to learn more.
Sharing your child’s enthusiasm for learning is one important way that parents help build lifelong learners. And parents who are interested in children’s learning tend to raise more cooperative children.
3. Your baby’s learning is supported by routines.
While children certainly thrive on new experiences, predictable routines are also beneficial to early childhood development.
Some people naturally live their lives with regular daily routines, and others feel stifled by doing the same thing every day.
Whichever you are, it is important to know that routines help babies learn and grow. In families with daily routines, parents and children tend to be more connected to one another and children are generally more cooperative.
Which routines are most important?
How do we teach routines that support baby’s growth and brain development?
Tune in to our inspiring online class, Neuroscience of Early Childhood: Brain Development and Why Parents Matter So Much, on Monday, May 7 and find out! (If the date of this live class has passed, look for the class recording here.)
During this live, online class, you will learn how to build emotional self-regulation, enthusiasm for learning and stronger parent-child connections. JoAnn Robinson, PhD, specialist in early childhood development, will explain simple practices to make your day and your baby’s day easier and more fun!