A young child's brain develops at a very rapid rate, especially from birth to 5 years of age. This is a time when they absorb information very rapidly through exploring, being curious, exchanging communication, feeling, touching, listening, trying and trying and trying to do things.
Interactions with your children are about engaging with your children, whether through singing and dancing together, cooking together, playing, drawing together, reading together or any activities that you enjoy doing with your child.
I am a firm believer that engaging with your child does not need to be expensive or hard; it can be spending 15 minutes together reading, having a meal together, washing dishes or even playing.
Loving interactions can be touching and holding hands with your child, holding their hands to help them write or do colouring, snuggling with your child, and all physical activities that you do together with your children.
If parents engage and interact with their children daily, it enables the child's brain to develop through the new information learned through those daily interactions.
So why are daily interactions important ,and how do they support your children's emotional and cognitive development?
Feeling safe and supported
Loving interactions create both physical and emotional connections that enable the parent and child to establish deeper relationships. These connections allow the child to feel bonded and safe with the primary carer.
When a child feels bonded with the primary carer, he or she feels safe to express and explore new challenges.
For example, for a young baby, if his cries and needs are met consistently and with love by the primary carer, the child will feel safe and secure. This builds trust about themselves and the world around them, reduces stress, and enables the baby to be more settled and be easier to sooth.
As for a toddler, their needs are just as important, as they too experience big emotions like anger, jealousy, sadness, anxiousness,… However , their speech is still developing, thus they find it hard to express themselves. If you are emotionally connected with your child, you will be able to assure her that you empathise with her needs, that you understand and hear what she is saying, and she will learn to clam herself down and release the stress and anxiety.
Loving interactions and connections through touch and attunement ensure the infant or child's needs are met; they then will feel secure, attached and assured, thus enabling healthy brain development.
Encourages repetition and consistency
From research, it is know that the brain is "wired" to encourage repetition of sounds, patterns and experiences.
Children love routine. Have you ever noticed that children are more settled when there is a routine? This is because they feel safe and know what to expect. They like to have their nap, play and meal time almost around the same time, and helps them to be more settled.
Children love repetition, such as stories being read over and over again, or their favourite songs being played many times. It helps them to be more familiar and retain facts in their memory. I remembered my children would demand the same cassette to be played over and over and over again whether in the car or at home, until I have to replicate the same cassette many times over (before CDs and iPods).
Also, through repetition, it helps the children to understand the consequences. For example, when a child throws a cup down from the high chair, the cup will fall onto the ground, and they keep doing the action until they understand the concept, and they then move on to another new skill.
So be prepared to play the same music, or sing the same good night song, or read the same book over and over until they find another book or song that catches their fancy.
Enhance academic skills
Research has shown that providing an enriched learning environment may enhance a young child's brain development and learning capabilities, especially during the formative years of ages up to 6.
The enriched learning environment does not need to be furnished with expensive toys or electronic gadgets; all it needs is stimulating objects and someone to interact with daily.
Stimulating daily interactions or exercises can be throwing a ball, rolling a ball, touching a pet, reading books together, or paying close eye contact. When my children were young, I used to hang colourful objects onto the ceiling or homemade rattles with colourful and "noisy" objects that stimulated their focus and curiosity.
Also playing makes those engagements and interactions fun.
To a child, play and fun is the language they understand, and that's how they learn about the world around them.
When is a child is having fun, he releases his stress or anxious emotions out of his system.
- Because to a child, fun is their language, that's how they learn about the world.
- When children are having fun, it reduces stress, thus enhancing their learning capabilities.
- When children are having fun, they want to do more, thus increasing motivation to learn and participate.
Just a gentle reminder that every child is different, thus their needs and maturity varies. Be patient and observe. I am a firm believer that creating connections with your children does not need to be hard or expensive, you just need to be creative, patience and consistent, even if for 15 minutes a day.
Remember, a child's learning development is nurtured through unconditional love, hands-on daily interactions, patience, attunement and most of all, fun.
daily interactions + fun = empowerment + connections.
Have a wonderful day with your family.
I have created a 30 fun hands-on interactions with your children. Have fun and let me know how this information has helped you.