It is not a secret that toddlers and infants have a much higher capacity to shape, mold and learn than we the adults. They can learn a completely new language, walk, and run and do anything or everything at a much faster pace in their earlier period of life than in the later. During the initial period, their body and brain are undergoing tremendous changes and they are getting immersed with information from all around them. Their ability to think, respond and work starts becoming more complex, and despite their limitation’s preschoolers gain cognitive gain during their earlier year
The parents, the teachers, the books, their friends and the environment all play a huge and critical role, especially during the earlier phase in helping the children develop skills and cognitive development. Such high is their learning curve that the children are they are learning even before their birth-literally. The initial years of a child’s life are truly an extraordinary period where they grow and learn so much.
This ability is especially active during the first year where their brain is in high gear and all their senses, cognition and learning are at their peak. It is during this period that our interaction with them can play a key role in their development. And with that being said, these are a few guidelines and tips for the early learning and development of a child.
During the earlier years, we need to ensure that a child has a wholesome development and that our focus on learning and development is not in a particular area or field. From day one till the age of 8, children gain physical and social skills and it is during this period that they develop their cognitive and emotional abilities as well.
So, we must take a wholesome approach and work in the development of them all collectively rather than focusing just on a few as it may have some serious repercussions in later stages. As a parent/teacher or guardian, you need to ensure that your child is prepared for the later challenges in life and that can only be done if nurturing is done properly during the initial phase of his life
Setting the foundation
Building a strong foundation is essential regardless if you are building a house or a condo complex. The same applies here as well. To ensure that your child is successful in later stages of his life and that he reaches his maximum potential, it is crucial that during the initial years of his life, we build a strong foundation of beliefs.
The first eight or nine years of a child are special because of that, as it lays the future of a child’s learning. And it is during these years that parents, guardians, caregivers, professionals, and teachers need to keep a close watch on the child and make sure that they track his development. It is important that while doing so, we don’t lose the plot here. Every child learns and develops at his own pace and you need to be patient and forbearing with them.
Additionally, you need to be in constant reach with a child’s health provider and once their milestone is achieved you need to be aware of what to expect next and what their next goal is.
Moreover, parents need to work with the teachers and track the child’s developmental goals and if they notice any delay, they can inform the child’s healthcare provider.
Families and Communities are the first sources of Learning
No matter where you grew up, for most people the primary source of learning comes from their families. You are with them during your initial year right throughout 24 hours a day and seven days a week. They are the child’s first source of learning that stays with them right throughout their lifetimes.
Parents work hard to ensure that their child grows up in a healthy support system and to do that they embed them in a series of support groups that come in the shape of families, relatives, friends, and other social networks. These networks offer much-needed learning, safety and developmental opportunities which are required by the child at that time
It is during this phase that a child forms bonds with language, tradition, culture, and communities. These bonds offer safety and support and in turn, lay foundation to learning and development. Additionally, these bonds help them build their identity and place in the community.
Moreover, this relationship gets extended to teachers, professional and health care providers as the web of support gets further extended with time.
Learning through active exploration
It is in human nature that we learn through the art of trial and error. For children, learning comes from different sources, they learn from their parents, caregivers, guardians, teachers, health providers, communities and their other well-wishers. Children closely observe these sources and watch how they respond in a certain situation.
These interactions help them develop their cognitive ability and along with proper nurturing, they learn how to take control of their emotions and gain confidence. Additionally, once a child feels secure, confident and is communicating with others, his learning curve takes an exponential leap and rises to the air. This fuels the creative spark within the children, and they start to experiment with the hands-on interaction with the world around them. They observe they listen, they explore, they play, and they learn.
Their zest for experimentation increases and their learning curve makes headway once they start doing that.
Health is the first line of the very basic need that children need to have. Once when their basic needs are met and taken care of only then it creates an environment when a child can learn. By health, we don’t just mean the physical requirements of a child but also his mental and social needs as well.
During early childhood, children go through a phase of rapid learning and development but it is also important to remember, that it is during this phase they develop a sense of security and optimistic attitudes. It is, therefore, crucial that we review their development and provide those adequate facilities and support system which can cater to their needs. Moreover, they need a farm and a friendly environment to experience love and develop a positive and caring attitude towards life.
And by fostering positive and healthy hygiene attitudes we improve their ability to protect and safeguard themselves.
The final thought
Children require health and safety, care and protection to fulfill their mental and physical needs. Only once these needs are fulfilled can an environment be created where they can grow, learn and develop. A child deprived of such opportunities would lack the courage to take initiatives and as in return would fall behind others. Additionally, a balanced nutritive diet, along with proper sleep, and appropriate exercise are required for the mental and physical needs of a child.