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It’s All In His Head!

(c) 2010 By Deborah Beasley, ACPI CCPF

Today’s savvy parents spend considerable time searching for ways to understand their child’s behavioral cues and meet their emotional and developmental needs.  From newborn to teen and every age in between, what do parents really need to know to nurture and influence healthy development in their child?  The exciting answers parents seek are not in a book but in the brain.

In the critical first three years of life a child’s healthy brain development depends upon a healthy, loving, and structured environment.  At every age the brain/body system will act in tandem to insure it gets what is needed to survive.

Parents can strengthen whole child development when they:

  • Recognize all behavior as a sign of a met or unmet need.
  • Understand a child’s wants and needs cannot be separated.
  • Attend to their child’s needs in a timely and loving manner.

The brain has an experiential hard drive and memories are being stored even before birth.  These sensory and experiential memories lay the foundation for your child’s interactive view of his world.  He will interpret his environment as scary or safe depending on the ways in which his needs are consistently met.  Responsive and supportive care giving helps your child develop the ability to feel calm and safe in his environment.

How does your child grow?  Can you see the connection between your child’s brain development and his behaviors at different stages? Share a brief example with me in the comment box.