Have you ever thought about all the voices vying for your attention? Think about it, since birth, sound has been a large part of your daily life. First, there are your parents holding and talking to you, other family and friends eager for a chance to hold you and make weird sounds that no one understands, TV and the radio cranking out a variety of Bupkis.
From birth to age 5, your brain develops more than any other time in your life. Early brain development has a lasting impact on your ability to learn and succeed in school and life. The quality of your experiences in the first few years of your life, positive or negative helps shape how your brain develops and your ability to learn.
Think about this, Like a new born baby you have all the brain cells (neurons) you’ll have for the rest of your life, but it’s the connections between the cells that really make the brain work. It’s those brain connections that enable us to move, think, communicate and do just about everything. That’s the reason a child’s early years are crucial for making these connections. At least one million new neural connections (synapses) are made every second, more than at any other time in life.
Again, those early years are the best opportunity for a child’s brain to develop the connections they need to be healthy, capable, successful adults, without this early stage of development it is difficult learn high-level abilities such as motivation, self-control, problem solving and communication skills.
This can’t be stressed enough. The most important influences on a child’s early development are the adults in their life. It begins with healthy loving parental and family relationships in addition to child care providers, teachers, and members of the greater community.
From birth, young children readily engage with their parents, other adults, and caregivers. Babies do it cooing, smiling, waving their arms and legs or crying.Toddlers, through words and actions have learned to communicate their needs a little more directly. During these early weeks, months, and years there are numerous opportunities for adult interactions that help in the process of wiring the brain. Those parents and caregivers who give attention, respond and interact with their children are literally building their child’s brain. That’s why it’s so important to talk, sing, play, read and hold young children from the day they are born and give them opportunities to explore their physical world and provide stable, safe, and nurturing environments.
Conversely, when children are exposed to violence, live in poverty, or lack access to quality early learning experiences, it can negatively impact a child’s early brain development and ultimately, their long term success.
This will be my focus in the coming weeks.
I hope to delve into this process of learning, the beliefs that are formed along the way and the rewards or consequences directly attributed to the paths we take. Scripture reminds us that during these formative years we have be a proper example and at the same time help in the development of your child’s relationship with Jesus.
Children often model their parents behavior. They do and say many of the things they hear at home. That’s why it’s so important to talk with them about Jesus in ways that will benefit them as they grow toward maturity. (Deut. 6: 4-9)
A few things to consider until next time. Think about the word complete, does it mean absolute, total, finished? In the examples below it’s an indication that what is needed to start the growth process is present. Take a seed for example. It’s complete but nothing happens until it’s planted, exposed to the sun, and given the proper nourishment, and so it is with our little ones…it takes a village.
a.) It takes about 24 hours for a sperm cell to fertilize an egg. When the sperm penetrates the egg, the surface of the egg changes so that no other sperm can enter. At the moment of fertilization, the baby’s genetic makeup is complete, including whether it’s a boy or girl.
b.) When you are born again you are complete. Col. 2:9-10 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

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