Read how as parents you can contribute to your child growth and development. Learn why early childhood development is so important.
Today we are going to talk about questions that most parents think about – How can you contribute to the growth of your child? How would you contribute to the overall development of your child ?
As parents we all want our children to succeed and do well in life. And we want to give them the best we can, to help in our child’s growth and over all development. But usually we are not sure and not aware of how can we contribute in their overall development.
At times we parents get so caught up with work and household chores that we sometimes forget how important our role is in the overall development and growth of our kids. The nurturing and caring needed during the child’s growing years is very crucial in laying down the foundation for your child’s future and well being.
Do you want to actively contribute in your kid’s growth and over all development or just be a passive spectator of life going by?
So let us start with what we are going to cover in this article:
Why early childhood development is important?
Before we go further it is important for us to understand the importance of early years in our child’s life. This is the time when their potential level is at peak, they are much curious about things and full of energy, thus ready to understand, learn and grasp new things happening around them.
Do you know the brain grows faster in the first five years of your child’s life than at any other time in his life?
Do you know ?
- If babies’ bodies grew at the same rate as their brains, they would weigh 170 pounds by 1 month old.
- A baby’s brain reaches 70% of its adult size by the first birthday and 80% by the second birthday
- The first five—and especially the first three years—of a child’s life are the most important. They shape the brain’s organization, development, and functioning throughout life
A parent’s role in a child development
Some parent’s think that they will admit their kids in school on time and there they will learn and grow. But we can’t avoid the fact that home is the primary and basic school for kids’ development.
You are your child’s first and the most important teacher. Thus, we should be more like a coach and less like a captain.
I am not saying that we should pressurize them or start giving them compulsory lessons at very small age, and not let them enjoy their childhood.
But we also cannot avoid the fact that they are our next generation and Gen-next is always superior than the previous one, thus they have the capability to learn and understand the things in fast mode.
Studies have proved that children who are well supported and nurtured physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually will physically develop a multitude of neural connections in their brain that will serve them well throughout their life. But usually we as parents fail to make a conscious effort to nurture our kids intellectually.
- Babies whose parents talk to them frequently know 300 more words by age 2 than babies whose parents rarely speak to them.
- Researchers suggest that the majority of parents fall within one of four different parenting styles: 1) authoritarian, 2) authoritative (which is more democratic than authoritarian, 3) permissive, and 4) uninvolved parenting. Of these four, authoritative parenting tends to result in children who are more happy, capable, and successful
How can we parents help our kids in their overall growth and development?
Many a times I have seen questions like “How can I keep my little one occupied at home such that it helps in his development?” Or “How do I decide activities for my kid” or may be “Should I buy expensive early development toys”.
With time I have realized that the reason for these question is we parents have a strong desire to contribute to our child’s development in the best possible way we can but have very little knowledge of how we can help our kid develop skills or contribute to child development.
I believe to understand how we can contribute – we first need to understand what Child Development is and what the main areas of Child Development are? I have covered these topics in a separate article (link below). In below I have covered what are fine motor skills, what are gross motor skills and much more
Below are few steps or specific actions that you can take to help your kid in his over all growth and development.
1. Limit screen time for toddlers and avoid screen time for babies
Do you know Screen time of any kind Laptop, tablet, TV or mobile can hamper with the growth of your child. So the first thing we can do is to switch off the TV or any other screen and spend uninterrupted time with our kids.
Infant educational television does not promote intellectual development, because infants respond to things that respond to them. Even the most advanced DVD does not respond to the specific cues of an infant. Playing with a baby is far more valuable than even the most expensive system of videos.
2. Provide an environment that encourages play
Our homes are made for adults and not kids. Kids need free space to run around engage in physical activities, try out some new experiments and learn on their own.
Let us make a conscious effort to give our kids an environment where they can grow and offer them opportunities so that they will learn the practical life skills. And thus help us lay a strong foundation for our kid’s future.
3. Do some activities together
We can nurture our kids intellectually by playing with them, doing activities with them, talking to them and reading to them. Even simple things like going on a walk with them or sitting with them during meal times can make a lot of difference.
These activities give us a chance to spend more and more time with our kids and allow us to get to know our kids better. You can understand their likes and dislikes, their hobbies and their skills (which may be god gifted to them).
And during these daily interactions you will get many teaching moments to teach them about their environment, give them practical life lessons and thus help in improving their skills as well. You can use your child’s interest and curiosity as a medium to tell him about new things.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”Benjamin Franklin
4 . Introduce kids to new experiences and activities
I know it is not possible to travel through out the year. But going to a new place once in a while is good for your kid. If you can not travel outside the city – you can take your child to a museum, a railway station, a grocery store or any near by place where he has not been before.
The idea is to expose our kids to various experiences. Believe me such trips make you learn more about the world than any book can ever can.
It is our duty as parents to give our kids exposure to various experiences and activities so that they can develop their own interests, learn new skills and have fun along the way.back to menu ↑
5. Encourage Critical thinking
Encourage your kid to solve their own problems.
If our child is unable to solve a puzzle, our first response is solving it for them. Even I have been guilty of doing this at times. Because a s a mother I want my son to never face a problem in life. But sadly that is not in my control.
All I can do is to help him learn how to solve problems when he faces any. And this is where critical thinking can help him.
We can provide our kids with puzzles for encouraging critical thinking. For older kids we can ask them – how they would have behaved in a certain situation? We can ask such questions after reading a book or after a story telling session.
We want our kids to be able to solve their own problems and to be able to make their own decisions.back to menu ↑
6. Be a role model
Kids learn from what they see us doing rather than what we are telling them to do.
If we shout when we are angry, we may actually (though unconsciously) be teaching our kids that – it is OK to shout when things don’t go our way.
Child’ growth and development is also inclusive of his social and emotional development. And how he learns to behaves depends a lot on how we parents behave.
We unknowingly pass on a lot of biases and our behavior to kids. So being aware of how we are behaving in front of our kids is very important.
Source – Child Development facts
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- What is Child Development, what are the areas and skills associated
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- 7 things you must know about STEM
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- Five Reason why you should read to your baby
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