If you are feeling Outsmarted by your toddler, it’s no surprise. Your toddler’s BRAIN outperforms yours! Toddlers ‘terrible’ reputation is due to the fact that their brains are growing so fast, parents can’t keep up with them. According to “Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture your Child’s Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence”, by Marian Diamond, Ph.D. & Janet Hopson:
|“Metabolic rates keep rising in most brain structures until the energy use in a two-year old is equal to an adult’s. And then, the levels keep right on rising until, by age three, the child’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s…this glowing of brain cells remains at double the adult rate until about age nine or ten: at that time, metabolism begins dropping and reaches adult levels by age eighteen.“|
What a responsibility to parents! For whatever they input into their youngster’s growing minds will impact them for the rest of their lives. As they explain:
|“The dendrites, the magic trees of the cerebral cortex, retain their ability to grow and branch, and it is this lifetime growing potential that enables us to continue learning and adapting. However, childhood is a particularly crucial time for the brain because of the neural sculpting that goes on: for many of our abilities, tendencies , talents and reactions, those that get “hardwired” in childhood become the collective mental platform upon which we stand and grow for the rest of our lives.”|
The first few years of life will establish the degree of emotional security in a child. Though giving young children the attention they need is a lot of work, that EARLY investment reaps tremendous rewards LATER in life. The lack of it can be equally as devastating. According to the authors of “Magic Trees of the Mind:
|“…the parts of the brain that process emotion grow and mature relatively early in a child and are very sensitive to parental feedback and handling. For infants and toddlers, an atmosphere conducive to healthy emotional development is probably the most important foundation a parent can provide. Proper nurturing at this stage is a priceless form of mental enrichment that lasts a lifetime, whereas inappropriate or inconsistent treatment, neglect, or outright abuse are forms of mental impoverishment that can also take a lifelong toll.”|
Find some practical tips on how to react to a temper tantrums and more, here.
If you fear you lack the money to properly raise an emotionally healthy child, fear no more! What it takes to ‘enrich’ a child’s environment and emotional security, is simple, according to Marian Diamond, Ph.D. and Janet Hopson:
|“It doesn’t take money to create a climate for enchanted minds to grow. It just takes information, imagination, motivation and effort. Once the habit of active involvement is entrained, experience will take over and those stimulated minds will do the rest for themselves in surprising and delightful ways.”|
Your child is already growing up too fast. Love them like you won’t have THEM tomorrow, and TEACH them like they won’t have YOU tomorrow!
It’s the MOST important thing you can DO.
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