Early Stages Of Development In A Child’s Brain - A Positive Experience
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We live in a complex world and time of human history. As adults, navigating these complexities are often challenging and occasionally overwhelming. How do we prepare our children for this, is it possible to prepare them? In considering these questions and in the course of doing research I found that the science of early brain development reveals a wealth of information to parents and caregivers towards understanding childhood development. How does understanding early brain & childhood development help prepare our children for this complex world? Well, the information is invaluable in that it equips us with knowledge that we can use to empower our children to be successful in life.

Please join me in scratching the surface in beginning to discover just a portion of the layers of early brain development and how this knowledge can best equip us as parents or caregivers in providing the best possible environment and foundational experiences to support and encourage positive childhood development for our children, our nieces and nephews, for our loved ones.

Studies have revealed that the critical development years of early brain development occurs in the first three years of a child’s life.

Genetic factors have been found to strongly impact the early stages of development in a child’s brain and dictate the basic drawing of the brain. The role of genetics is to allow the brain to make adjustments based on the lessons or information it receives from its environment and experiences based on the child’s sense and perception to these. These lessons or information that is received by the brain then stimulates neural activity. For example the neural activity is directed by the genes to their proper locations in the brain and influences how a child interacts. Important to note, however, is that genetics does not determine the complete blueprint of the brain.

What does this all mean?

Basically, genes attribute the basic draft layout of the brain but the brain makes adjustments based on information, signals, and the sort that are received from the child’s environment. For example, if a parent or caregiver engages a child in conversation this activity stimulates the areas of the brain associated with language and speech. As the parent or caregiver increases the frequency of conversing with this child stimulates the language/speech area of the brain, and therefore strengthens that area of the brain. Likewise, if the child receives little to no conversation then that part of the child’s brain remains weak and runs the risk of the brain minimizing this part of the child’s brain. The lesson or takeaway here is that in order to strengthen the various parts of the brain to ensure it is strong and in top shape, requires practice, exercise, repetitive use similar to exercising your body as in the gym or running consistently in order to build your muscles or practice in basketball every day in order be good at making baskets when playing basketball. The concept is the same. Strength in brain synapse encourages connectivity and efficiency in the parts of the brain that supports learning, memory, emotional, intellectual, and other cognitive capabilities. A child’s experience determines what information is uploaded to their brain and influences how their brain processes information.

It is important to note that strengthening the various parts of the brain requires repetition, practice and exercise and as parents we want to reinforce that strength.

A note of caution, however, because equally as important is the experience and emotion the child feels when we as parents spend time engaging our child to practice, and exercise repetitively the various parts of our brain because the experiences and emotions a child feels is processed back to the child’s brain and influences how the child is processing this information.

For example, when my daughters were infants, I would have conversations with them about our schedule for the day, the weather, color, etc. As they got older and began making sounds in response to what I may have been saying to them, I would ensure the tone in my voice reflected excitement and joy that they were participating in our conversation. I supported their efforts to learn words and although they may not have said the word correctly, I would applaud their attempt to say the word and then I would model how to say the word correctly, once or twice and then move on. I always strive to ensure they did not feel inadequate if they could not say it correctly and found that this strategy gave them the confidence to make an effort to sound out words and not be afraid if they didn’t get it right at first because they felt support and eventually would say the word correctly. With each new word they learned to say, I would make every effort to use the word as often as possible and ask questions that would allow them to respond to me with the new word or words they learned. The repetition, the joy and excitement of our conversations were an experience they recall to this day. My daughters are now young, articulate, adult women. The experience and emotions my daughters’ took away from our conversations from infancy through their childhood were positive and influenced the information that was processed back to their brains accordingly.

Early brain development; today I revealed that genetics strongly impacts the early stages of development in a child’s brain in that it allows the lessons or information it receives from its environment and experiences based on the child’s sense and perception to these. Early brain development; today I revealed that genetics strongly impacts the early stages of development in a child’s brain in that it allows the lessons or information it receives from its environment and experiences based on the child’s sense and perception to these.

The example I shared today clearly shows how a positive, loving, encouraging and consistent experience positively influenced the information that was processed back to two young children’s brains.

I encourage you, as a parent or caregiver, to consider what you can do today to encourage and support a positive environment and experiences to nurture early brain development for your child?

We have a passion for fostering early child development as our next generation of young, honest, strong, productive, encouraging adult leaders. Please visit our woodenblocksandmore website to explore how wooden blocks contribute to early child development. While you are there, please stop by our blog for information on family, parenting, children, early child development and much more!


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