Harvard psychologist to parents: 7 things to raise kids with flexible, resilient brains
We all know the phrase – you’ll understand when you are old enough. But why wait a long time for a certain point when a child’s brain is capable of amazing things?
It is the early period of a child’s development (from 1 year of life to 4 years) that matters most. Because the future structure of the brain is established during this period.
Already by the age of 3, the brain capacity of a young child is 90% of that of an adult. This period of childhood is characterized by a high capacity for learning and learning new things. Between the ages of 4 and 10, the child’s brain is twice as active as that of any adult. And the age of a third-grader is a great period for the development of logical thinking.
You probably have enough reasons to start developing your child right now. And we have prepared for you a concentrate of the latest research from Harvard scientists in the field of psychology and neuroscience.
1. Guide, but don’t force!
There’s a good saying – if you want to help your child then get off of him!
You can surround your child with musical instruments or put chess on a shelf – create a useful space, but never force your child to play just because you like it. The child has to feel it for himself, through his own experience. Otherwise, everything to do with the piano will disgust him.
2. Be a guide in the world of feelings, emotions, and sounds for your child
Yes, it’s not exactly fancy or realistic, but you should read and talk to your child a lot, even if it’s only a couple of months old. It may not understand the meaning of these words, but the way you speak and the intonation is most important!
3. “Why? – Because!”
No to all of the above. Such answers to children’s questions are taboo. We understand that children ask a lot of questions about everything. Well, how can they learn about the world and be smart?
If you forbid something or do not allow it – explain the real reason why your kid cannot eat a lot of sweets or not sleep after 10 p.m. The child must understand these causal links.
4. Criticism should be constructive
Nobody likes to be criticized. Criticism always causes a storm of negative emotions and only a few people can perceive it calmly and even thank it.
You do not need to criticize children, but rather analyze their actions, their deeds, not the personality itself. Everyone makes mistakes, and you shouldn’t judge a person by one action. Teach your child that people make mistakes and you need to be able to draw conclusions.
5. Be an example in everything
Work should not cause the child bad associations and negative emotions. Involve your children in what you do and make it playful. Play is the medium or tool through which children learn.
Buy your daughter a small set of kitchen utensils or a set of tools for the boy. Your children will imitate you, and be sure to praise them for what they have done.
6. Expand your circle of acquaintances
Grandparents and friends are always there, but it will be better when you introduce your child to different races and foreign-language speakers from an early age. This will adapt and prepare the brain for the successful learning of other languages in the future.
7. Allow your child to try things out
Often parents think that if a child drops or throws something, they are just manipulating their mom and dad. But this is not always the case. Sometimes this kind of mischief or other antics are attempting to learn how space works, to understand why something falls and doesn’t break, and why something bounces off a hard surface.
Yes, it can be hard to tell the difference, but you try!