What we should know about the amazing period of early childhood and the role of the adult.
What are your first childhood memories? Do you remember when you learned how walk, to put on your shoes, to eat on your own? Most people would say no. The first true memories begin after the age of 3, but even then they are too fragmented and vague.
If we don't remember almost anything from our early childhood when we grow up, does that mean that this period of our lives is not that important?
On the contrary, quite the opposite.
The years of early childhood - from birth to kindergarten - leave a huge imprint on us for the rest of our lives. Our experiences in these early years lay the foundations of our development, so that the little child can later become a competent and successful person. Key skills are built in the areas of movement, language, empathy, communication with others, independence and learning.
And of all of this thanks to the amazing growth of the child's brain.
When your baby is born, its brain is small compared to an adult brain. However, by its first birthday, your baby's brain doubles in size and becomes the fastest growing part of its body. It sounds unbelievable, yet over the course of the next few years more than a million neural connections will form every second.
According to experts, the years from birth to age 5 are extraordinary for parents. They offer countless opportunities for positive impact on children's development, which should not be missed, because they will never come back. The more engaging and enriching experiences we provide to our children and the better relationship we have with them, the more neural connections will be formed in their brains.
This means that if we play with children, talk to them, explain things, read books, solve problems together and give them enough opportunities to actively explore the world, they will become smarter and more competent. Conversely, if we don't pay much attention to children because "they are still too little and don't understand", we miss valuable opportunities for development and deny children the chance to reach their full potential.
And is there anything more satisfying than hearing your child proudly say, "Mom, look what I CAN do!"?
#ideas for parents
"Take three to watch"
For children ages 1-5
Take 3 minutes today to watch your child. Pay attention to what they see, how they move, what they say and what they are learning. Even when you are busy, being briefly "in sync" with the child will make your connection stronger.
"This publication was created with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The entire responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the Health and Social Development Foundation and under no circumstances can it be assumed that this publication reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Operator of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria."