Understanding Your Child’s Brain Development
Know what to expect during the different stages of your child’s brain development to help strengthen your relationship with your child. A child’s brain is born with neural cells that are small and mostly unconnected to the other parts of the brain. For it to grow, it needs input, emotional connection with others and sensory experiences. Connections are formed through positive interaction with others and the repeated safe experiences engages the neurons to connect to other cells and create important pathways to the other parts of the brain. Their brain development correlates a child’s ability to control their emotions and behaviour.
“90-95% of brain growth happens in the first 5 years”
The Triune Brain
Survival Center – also called the Reptilian brain in evolutionary terms as it is the most primal level and deals with survival. Infants operate from the survival center. They are sensitive to touch, noise, a wet diaper and other sensory stimulations and are dependent on a parent / caregiver to help soothe them.
Emotional Center – the Emotional brain – limbic system deals with emotions and memory. Toddlers and pre-schoolers operate primarily from the emotional brain where “self-expression, communication of needs and reactions to the world are expressed in the form of feelings.”
Executive Center – the Thinking brain – prefrontal cortex houses language and deals with decision making. From ages 5-6, 11 & 15 and continues through the mid- 20s, this area is the last to be established. It “is responsible for rational thought, problem-solving, planning, attention, creativity, self-awareness and understanding and interpreting emotion.”
What does this mean to you as a parent?
– Conscious parenting is being open and responsive to your child’s needs according to the stages of their brain development.
– Set aside unrealistic goals of pressuring your child to be independent earlier and do things faster and better compared to others.
– Know that each child’s development is uniquely their own.
– Change their behaviour through positive communication.
– Forget about being the perfect parent. Focus instead on establishing a close connection with your child.
– Strengthen your relationship! Meet your child’s needs with empathy, guidance and love. “Love helps grow a child’s brain.”
– Be a good role model. Your child learns by observing your actions and by experiencing your responses as a parent.
– Take your child’s behaviour less personally. Learn to have appropriate expectations according to their development.
– Be patient! “Self-regulation and socially acceptable behaviors take time to develop.”
– Build a trusting, supportive and secure relationship with your child. Be consistent!
Original Article Link:
http://www.teach-through- love.com/child-brain- development.html