Do You Know What Your Child’s Brain Needs? It REALLY isn’t complicated!
A child’s brain continues to develop long after birth. The term “brain development” refers to more than how smart a child is. It is the actual growth that takes place in the brain. The experiences a child has in the first few years creates the connections between brain cells and develops the foundation for relationships, health, happiness and learning throughout life.
Nutrition, sleep, regular routines, physical activity, play, and repeated positive experiences with caring adults, strengthens the connections to create the positive growth of a brain. This makes the brain healthy, ready to get along with others, and eager for more learning.
However, constant exposure to stress, limited stimulation, poor nutrition and lack of a nurturing relationship all create a brain being “wired” in a way that leads to emotional and learning problems. Growing brains adapt to the environment they are exposed to. A brain will adapt to a negative environment just as easily as it will adapt to a positive environment
Understanding this makes it possible for the caring adults in a child’s life to have a long-lasting impact.
Following are four basics extremely important basics.
Warm Responsive Care
Children’s primary need is to know they are loved. This is only learned through consistent nurturing interactions with primary caregivers.
The brain makes connections for learning language only from what a child hears. A child needs to hear lots of language throughout the day. Language is learned through direct interaction, not from a television or video.
Safe, Healthy Environment
A variety of nutritious foods, a lead free and safe environment for a child to explore contributes to a well developed brain. A brain requires little stress and routines to feel safe and relaxed. Sleep and rest are also necessary to a healthy brain.
Play is the way the brain learns about the world. Lots of interaction and exploration help the brain form connections that make later learning easier. Play outdoors additionally impacts brain development in healthy ways.