Mastering the Building Blocks of Childhood
What are the building blocks for raising a healthy and happy child?
In this article, we will examine the 7 pillars of early childhood brain development.
Get it right from the start and set your child up for a lifetime of success!
Discover the “secret sauce” for your child’s well-being, along with real life strategies to maximize their fullest developmental potential.
We compiled the best scientific studies of the highest quality to bring you this one of a kind article.
So let’s jump right in and learn the 7 ways to give your child a brighter future.
1. PHYSICAL –
Brains are built from the bottom up, starting with:
1) the cerebellum located at the base of the brain that is responsible for movement, balance and coordination.
2) the motor cortex, found at the top of the brain, where planning and execution of movements occurs.
Children need plenty of exercise to develop properly.
The overlap between brain structures and cross communication at the molecular level allows their brain to operate as an efficient machine, with all parts working together.
In fact, aerobic exercise has been shown as most beneficial to the growing child’s brain, creating the ideal learning conditions to absorb information effectively and for longer periods of time.
Make time each day to ensure that your child spends at least an hour engaging in physical activity.
Learn how to supercharge your child’s brain with movement with these great tips.
2. MENTAL –
Our mind functions like a muscle. Work on building mental strength by exercising the brain, as you would any other muscle to grow it.
Learning and expanding the young mind will reinforce existing brain circuits, while building new connections.
Immerse your child in a world rich in language, natural beauty and novel experiences.
Encourage the child to engage all 5 senses in hands-on learning experiences to develop higher order cognitive processes.
Create novel pathways in the cortex – the thinking and planning center of the brain, by talking to your child and asking thought-provoking questions.
Questions engage a child and help develop essential critical thinking skills at a young age, which will continue to develop well into adulthood.
3. SOCIAL –
As humans, we are hardwired for social interactions. From an evolutionary standpoint, we were designed to thrive in groups, thus ensuring the survival of our species.
Children around the age of 2 will begin to make social connections, networking with their peers and working together towards a common goal.
Interactions with family, friends and even pets, build important verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
When children play together, they learn empathy and self-regulation, important components of emotional intelligence.
A playground outing can teach math, literacy and problem solving skills through rich language interactions, interpersonal relationships and physics concepts tested on the swings and monkey bars.
Knowing this valuable information will allow you to prioritize socialization. Aim for free, unstructured play time to provide an added imagination boost.
4. EMOTIONAL –
Emotional intelligence, the ability to regulate one’s own emotions and act with compassion towards another, is at the core of achieving great life success.
Coaching children on how to deal with powerful emotions will lead to a mastery of self-regulation as an adult.
Help your child through the emotional storms of early childhood quickly and effectively with these innovative techniques.
Provide a nurturing, warm and safe environment. Stay attuned to the child’s feelings. Validate the child often so that they learn that it is ok to express the full spectrum of emotions – both positive and negative.
Remember – you are your child’s best role model. Demonstrate superior emotional control and your child will follow in your footsteps.
5. CREATIVITY –
Artistic pursuits including music, drawing and dance, activate multiple brain regions simultaneously, increasing neuronal pathway connections which translates to a smarter, more efficient brain.
Encouraging artistic recreational activities will wire the child’s brain to “think outside of the box,” finding new relationships and patterns.
Imaginative play using costumes, dolls and simple toys, such as blocks, fosters creativity and problem solving abilities, important predictors of school readiness and academic success.
Keep these concepts in mind the next time you find empty cardboard boxes and old sheets around the house. These simple household items can be more effective than the latest toy on the market. Fuel your child’s imagination and show them how to create their very own castle or rocket ship!
6. DISCIPLINE –
Contrary to popular belief, children need grownups to set boundaries from the start and teach kids right from wrong.
This is because young children’s brains are still under-developed and lack the cognitive processing capabilities and decision making skills of our adult brains.
Discipline starts early, long before the child can make decisions on their own.
Become your child’s ethical and moral compass. Lead by example, realizing that your child is watching you and learning proper behavior from your actions.
Setting boundaries and limitations for unacceptable behaviors during the early years will keep children safe and more fulfilled in the long run.
This value system will follow your child and guide them through adulthood.
Follow through with consistent, natural consequences for misbehavior. When you remove a toy from a child when they are acting out, you are teaching natural consequences and strengthening their internal guidance system of morality.
7. INDEPENDENCE –
Treat young children kindly and respectfully.
The early years provide the framework for self-image and discovery.
Give children age-appropriate, decision-making power. For example, provide little kids with the ability to choose between 2-3 favorable options. This will help boost their confidence, self-esteem and sense of autonomy.
Value each child’s unique ideas and opinions.
Encourage them to perform age-appropriate tasks for themselves (i.e. getting dressed, brushing teeth) and show your trust in them through added involvement and responsibility in the home.