Research proves that from birth to age three, a child’s brain develops rapidly, making neural connections that build motor, cognitive, emotional and social skills. As parents and teachers, we can greatly impact the early years of child development. According to a recent study, “Genes provide a blueprint for the brain, but a child’s environment and experiences carry out the construction.”
That’s why creating a secure environment, physically and emotionally, is of paramount importance at home and at Apple Montessori Schools for your child’s long-term health and happiness.
Every human being, young or old, needs to be shown respect for his feelings, needs, and surroundings. It’s essential to have empathy for a child’s behavior and to understand the cause of their feelings and actions. If your child is crying or irritable, soothe them patiently with soft words and gentle caresses. Your calm approach will provide a sense of security and trust to help foster open communication and well-being.
Providing freedom of movement.
Every person wants the ability to move around freely in a safe environment. Give your child the opportunity to extend their arms and legs, crawl, climb, walk and explore their surroundings within safe limits and your guidance. Over time, your child will learn to test their abilities and strengthen their motor skills independently at their own pace with confidence.
At a young age, you can help build your child’s decision-making skills by giving them simple choices. You can start by offering your child options for what to eat or what to wear. For example, you can suggest selections for a healthy breakfast—eggs and toast or cereal with fruit. Let your child decide what they want to eat and help prepare the breakfast with you. Kitchen-time can be fun for you and your child, while you teach how to use spoons, mixing bowls and measuring cups.
Modeling good behavior.
Children learn by example. You can teach your child courtesy and thoughtfulness by demonstrating how to treat others with kindness and gentleness. Children will mimic the way you speak and act towards your family and others.
Speaking clearly, listening closely.
Communicating with your child constructively starts at birth. Speaking in a clear voice, identifying and pronouncing the objects around them, stimulates neural activity in the language-related areas of the brain. Engage your child in conversation about what they are doing and feeling, listen to what they say, and respond back in a caring, thoughtful way.
Giving instruction and guidance patiently.
As your child learns to say and do things for themselves, inevitably, they are going to make mistakes. You can show them how to speak and act correctly, not by scolding or pointing out mistakes, but by simply modeling the appropriate behavior. Children learn more quickly in a safe, non-threatening environment that encourages discovery and hands-on learning.
At Apple Montessori Schools, the teachers and programs for child education and development foster the growth of the “whole child.” Each child is guided and encouraged to pursue their individual interests and activities, learn at their own pace, and act thoughtfully and respectfully.