I’ve been talking about child development from 0 to 3 years, for some time, and I do than to focus on a specific point or category, whether I talk about theories, the importance of reading, playing, or the baby’s brain. However, what I really strive my community of parents and caregivers to understand and internalize, so that we can incorporate in the way we care for children and practice every day, is that human development is a complex subject, and research in this area is ongoing. Making a commitment to know better, and then do better, we now have the knowledge to know how we should work on a child’s development holistically and, therefore, we need to talk about several important processes that directly impact child development. Little things that, individually, we don’t think make a difference, but when combined with the whole, they are decisive for your baby’s maximum development.
Often, parents and caregivers are not aware of looking at the whole or analyzing how little things fit together as fundamental pieces for raising children and the optimum development of their child. The importance of development based on the whole child is to provide balanced, and holistic growth for your little one. Above all, nurturing their sensory, motor, psychological, intellectual, physical, emotional, and all cognitive aspects.
And this accelerated development occurs mainly during the first few years, while the baby’s brain is being built and shaped by us, parents, and caregivers.
The best remedy is still prevention
There are many articles, techniques, and approaches on the treatment of pathologies and disorders that children have developed due to the influence of the environment in which they live. However, there are few articles on the web for “regular folks” on preventive measures, such as making the environment for your little one healthier, especially when we think about psychological, emotional, and behavioral disorders. To prevent it from triggering these types of disorders, it is necessary not only to understand how it affects us but also, its cause.
When it comes to children and the need to identify the possible triggers that can lead to an illness, or disorder developing, we find that the most effective way to prevent this from occurring is with the conscious awareness of those who live with the little one. In this case, they are not just the family, but the caregivers, school, and circle of friends, as they are people with whom your child spends a great deal of time. Therefore, it is essential to think about how failing to invest your time and efforts in any part of your child’s life can have long-term consequences on their development.
Another important topic to be discussed is how resilience becomes a determining factor in protecting your little one. Having this skill developed depends on building a positive relationship with at least one adult who has a strong emotional bond with the child, in addition, to have someone who provides positive guidance with academic expectations, a healthy family environment, and relationships, emotional intelligence, some form of spiritual or mindfulness practice, and modeling how to deal with challenges in an assertive way.
The school influences as much as the family
The school plays a role as important as that of the family in the life of the little one, as it is responsible for much of the child’s development. Since it is through it that much of social activities and systemic education is built, working on the child’s ability to be and do innumerable things, creating and passing on their beliefs and values.
Another important point will be the relationship that your little one will develop with their teachers, which in turn, may result in a child who loves school and thrives in it, or not. I know many adults who have not had good experiences in their school years, and I am always impressed when I see the impact that still has on their lives, after so many decades.
Teachers will be the voice of inspiration, encouragement, and motivation. I bet if I ask you about your former teachers, you will be able to notice how they affected not just your learning, but other aspects of your life, right?
In general, when we think about child development and learning, either at home or at school, it is important to know that:
- Comprehensive education is based on being child-centered, that is, all its actions are planned, analyzed, and improved based on the context in which the child lives, their interests, learning, and development needs as a whole being.
- The integrated child development values each particularity of the little ones, understanding that it is necessary that they are educated retaining knowledge in innumerable areas and in different ways, making babies and children develop and learn according to their personality. Therefore, I believe it is necessary to know a variety of methods and apply them according to the needs and interests of each child.
- It is a contemporary method in which it aligns the needs of the 21st century, focusing on the formation of the individual’s critical sense so that they are independent, and hold themselves accountable in all areas of their lives.
- It is an inclusive education method, as it recognizes the uniqueness of each one, their multiple capacities and intelligence, building foundations so that everyone can develop in a spontaneous and healthy way while nurturing their own kind of smart.
- It is a proposal aligned with the sense of sustainability, as it has an educational commitment based on contexts, in a dynamic way in which what is learned is practiced.
- It promotes equity by respecting the rights of all people to learn and have access to opportunities to have an education centered on their needs, on the most diverse fronts such as: multiple languages, resources, environment, knowledge, etc.