October 25, 2011

The first four years are the most important time in your Child's life!

It is astounding the opportunity we have to lay the foundation for our child's future! It is not merely important -it is critical. It is estimated that over a trillion synapse sites (connections in learning) may be lost after a child is four years old. Therefore the ages from 0 - 4 are the most critical time in your child's life! This is when you have the greatest opportunity to impact your child for their lifetime. You cannot take it lightly! This is the time you help develop their personality, work ethic, ability to communicate and empathize and the ability to think. Your investment of time will impact every aspect of their future life.

It is believed that the "Windows of Opportunity" for learning occur in these time frames:

Skill OptimalWindow Time for Strengthening

Early sounds 4 - 8 mths Birth to five years
Emotional Intelligence 0 -2 years 2 - 5 years
Motor development 0 - 2 years 2 - 5 years
Vision development 0 - 2 years 2 - 5 years
Music 0 - 3 years 3 - 10 years
Thinking skills 0 - 4 years 4 - 10 years
Language Acquisition 0 - 10 years

The following activities may assist you in developing these skills with your child:

Early Sounds/Language Acquisition :

Read to your child. Start while they are still in the womb! This will enable them to learn the phonemes and patterns of your language. Talk interactively with your child. Language is developed by communicationk, not passive listeningt.


Look at your children when you talk and play with them. ELIMINATE OTHER DISTRACTIONS SUCH AS THE TV OR RADIO. Let them express how they feel and validate what you hear them saying. Children require different expressions of love. Some like to hear words of affirmation and encouragement, some enjoy time with you, while others prefer physical affection like hugs and kisses. Express your love in different ways to your children. Show them that it is authentic. And LAUGHTER is very important. Do not forget to be silly and play on your child's level.

Motor Development

Physical exercise is important for development. Play catch, run, take walks and dance. For fine motor development play with blocks, lego that is size appropriate, build with scented play dough etc. Try to balance different things on different parts of your body - i.e. a pair of balled up socks on your arm, head, knee etc.


Listen to and make music. find household items that make music. Make a family band with these unusual things. Listen for sounds from things around the house - the doorbell, the birds outside etc
Have your child repeat a snap - clap pattern back to you. Hum songs and let them guess what song it is. Create songs with your child. Enjoy a concert given by your children. Always praise their effort and creativity.

Thinking skills

The easiest way to develop these skills is with interaction and communication between you and your child. Ask your child questions about themselves, what they like and dislike and why they feel that way. Challenge them to think aboout things. Play pattern games like memory. At bedtime each evening talk aboout the day and what you have planned for tomorrow.

Good teaching is good mothering. Appreciate the opportunity you have with your children. Through your dailly interactions you are creating life-long memories. There is something magical about a child's laugh and an indescribable joy as you watch your child learn and become the child he or she was created to be.

Mothering is an incredible responsibility and blessing that God has given us. Each child is a unique and amazing gift.

Wendy Pellant

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