This Is Why Positive Brain Development Is Important For Your Growing Child

On the life-long impacts of positive brain development on your child, what happens if it doesn’t occur and what you can do to reinforce it

We’ve all heard about the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Considering today’s ever-changing landscape of demands faceted from a globalized society, it’s no joke that parents have to pull a lot more weight than our older counter-parts to make sure that their child can keep up with it.

Cultivating positive brain development for your child however, can definitely help substantially with this issue in a myriad of ways.

What Is Positive Brain Development?

The definition of positive brain development can be loosely described as the act of exposing beneficial stimuli to the brain while it’s in the process of growth, so that it forms a life-long positive foundation for the child’s intelligence in the future.

These beneficial stimuli can be exemplified from purposefully providing your child with a well-rounded diet to taking active care in demonstrating yourself as a good role model for them to take after. Sharing a great and caring bond with your child is also another form of positive brain development and thus, should not be limited to relying only upon external factors like tuition classes and enrichment programs.

When Should Positive Brain Development Occur?

Positive brain development doesn’t only start when the child is born. In fact, majority of brain development occurs prenatally. This is why there’s always been a huge emphasis on how mothers-to-be should take note of their diet, environment and mental health, as the smallest of factors can affect the development of the fetus long-term after birth.

However, after the birth of the child, the prime period for you to exercise positive brain development on them is defined up to the age of 6. This is because up to that point in time, your child’s brain will function like a sponge – the brain will be extremely sensitive to any present stimuli in the child’s environment and builds on it to develop further.

By the time your child enters kindergarten, their brain would’ve already reached 90 percent of it’s adult size – this will serve as the core foundation of knowledge and experience that your child will rely on to navigate and adapt for the rest of their adult lives.

Why Is Positive Brain Development Important For Your Growing Child?

Without the presence of positive brain development, certain areas in the brain might not be able to develop fully or even end up developing at all. Take for example where research showed that children who were raised after birth into orphanages with poor conditions show a dramatic decrease in brain activity as compared to children who were never institutionalized.

This is where we bring in the consequences of negative brain development, where the child is not exposed to any form of stimuli or, only exposed to negative stimuli.

Negative brain development or interrupted brain development occurs when the child is not taken care of properly by the designated caregiver or their parents. These can come in the form of extreme neglect and high levels of toxic stress. Toxic stress occurs when the child is exposed to violence or an extremely traumatic experience for a prolonged time without having the support and care from strong loving family bonds.

Thus their brain development will be affected with life-long consequences to bear; a study showed that children subjected to neglect or extended periods of instability were more at risk when it came to having depression, anxiety disorders and learning/memory impairments.

However, consistent positive brain development such as an encouraging bond between parent and child, exposure to quality-stimulating activities (e.g. healthy socialization with strangers) and having a stable environment where the child knows that they will be protected will help them thrive further in life.

What Can Parents Do To Exercise Positive Brain Development On Their Child?

Experts say that it’s not a matter of quantity, but quality of the stimuli when it comes to facilitating positive brain development for your child. As parents, you need to exercise constant vigilance and take note of what’s best for your child’s being.

At the end of the day, positive brain development occurs the best for a child when a great balance is struck between external, positive stimulation that they get from their environment, as well as when ample attention and care is received from their parents. Studies revealed that baby brains’ need love more from their parents or caregivers as compared to materialistic rewards such as gifts or expensive holidays.

Consistent, positive brain development can also be in the form of: an encouraging bond between parent and child, exposure to stimulating activities (e.g. healthy socialization with strangers, extra-curriculum classes outside of school) and having a stable environment where the child feels safe, and knows that they will be protected.

Parents can also take reference from these stay-home mothers who actively facilitate home-learning lessons for their children to learn and enjoy from outside of school. Parents can also be on the lookout for suitable pre-kindergarten classes or activities such as sports and arts that will fit your child’s personality and learning style.

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