A child’s brain grows and changes at an incredible rate. From the ages of 0 – 6, many connections take place inside the brain. These help the brain’s different parts communicate with each other and with the rest of the body.
Because there is so much growth in the brain during early childhood, parents and other caregivers can actually influence a child’s brain development. A child’s brain develops in a “use it or lose it” manner. The things that children experience in the early years will shape the way the brain grows, works and communicates. Brain connections that are used regularly get stronger, while those that are not used are eventually pruned away and lost. Parents can provide healthy experiences so that their children’s brains develop to their fullest potential.
How can you help your child’s brain develop?
- Love your children and show them that you love them ~ no matter what!
- Touch your children with love ~ cuddle, hug, hold and rock them.
- Respond to your children’s needs quickly and sensitively.
- Create routines for daily activities, so that your child knows what to expect next. Be consistent!
- Offer new experiences and different places to safely explore
- Be a safe haven that your child can return to.
- Follow your child’s cues as to when to play and be active ~ or when to be calm and quiet.
- Set boundaries and rules. Reinforce them in calm, kind and respectful ways.
- Play with your child.