The complexity of a toddler’s childhood experiences has a significant impact on how their brains grow later in life, offering either strong or weak foundations for learning, health, and behavior. More than one million brain connections are established per second in the first few years of life. This, in later stages, has the least chance to reoccur. According to the author, Erika Christakis, of the book The Importance of Being Little, the idea that being a small kid—with tiny kid interests and, above all, needs—has some worth seems to have faded out of favor.
We’re increasingly talking about young children as commodities to “invest ” in for future returns. Parents show a great deal of concern about their children’s prospects, and they appear to be curating their children’s life experiences in ways that past generations would find strange and even depressing. Also, The most significant aspect of a child’s growth is almost probably his or her family. Parents spend the most time with their children, especially in early infancy, and we (often inadvertently) affect how they act, think, and behave.
Early infancy is both safe and stressful, which is a strange dichotomy. On the one hand, for most children, particularly in the developing world, The early years in industrialized society are safer than they’ve ever been in human history. There are fewer fatal accidents and disabling disorders among children. We don’t put youngsters to work in coal mines. Of course, poverty, stress, and trauma exist, and some of these issues affect significant numbers of children, but in general, many of childhood’s “killers” have been defeated.
On the other hand, young children in 21st-century America face several problems. Technology isn’t always kind to the young, and there are new and unpleasant strains to contend with. For example, there is an epidemic of preschool expulsions (which disproportionately affect children of color and males), as well as an increase in the number of children with mental health and behavioral issues.
People’s life expectancies are longer and their social-emotional capabilities are more robust when they have the opportunity to learn through play and deep relationships. It’s more obvious than ever that young children aren’t just little grownups.
Why is it important for children to live through and enjoy their Childhood?
Adultification is the inability to perceive the world through the eyes of a youngster. Instructors are requested to get down on the floor of their classroom and look around from the perspective of a 4-year-old, or to try putting on a snowsuit with the motor skills of a toddler. Reflecting on the various ways people inflict adult pace, adult expectations, and adult schedules on young children is eye-opening. What is the explanation behind this? Young children sleep less and have more changes in their days than earlier generations, and I believe most educators and parents would agree that their growing brains aren’t built to cope with adult schedules and pace.
We all know there’s an issue, but it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is. We need to take a step back and observe the world through the eyes of a youngster. We see their growth through the eyes of an adult, assuming that we couldn’t possibly learn anything from an hour spent digging in a mud puddle, therefore it’s time to get out the arithmetic homework! It’s mind-boggling how little gross motor play and outside time many young children enjoy throughout their days.
Some of this adultification stems from a lack of understanding of what makes small children tick, as well as a severe lack of trust in their abilities.
Relationships are at the heart of good education. Many of the quality criteria we use today, such as class size, physical surroundings, or a specific curriculum, are considerably less significant than caring instructors who understand child development and who know and are responsive to the children in their care.
Children require time during the day to engage in rich, open-ended conversation—to playfully speak with one another, to tell a rambling narrative to an adult, to listen to high-quality literature, and ask relevant questions.
Quality caregivers know both the general dimensions of child development (“This is what a 3-year-old looks like”) and their children as individuals (“This is what this child is like,” according to the research).
Preschool instructors are deliberate in all they do, including classroom procedures, physical environment, scheduling, and the sorts of items they provide for children to explore and control. The finest preschools have collegial, inquiry-based cultures so that instructors may constantly experiment with and adapt their learning settings to take advantage of children’s inherent curiosity.
This is especially true for the many young children who have experienced trauma and adversity during their childhood. If a youngster arrives without having eaten anything the night before—or if they are processing something wonderful, such as the arrival of a new sibling or grandparent—the high-quality food will help them feel better.
A system will be in place in the preschool classroom to respond to such experiences and channel them into cognitive and social-emotional development.
Educators in these settings start with the assumption that children are capable of learning and refuse to allow school or governmental regulations to influence how they learn.
Play is a distinguishing element of mammalian development: the urge to play is ingrained into our brains and cannot be ignored. However, we must acknowledge that although the desire to play is one thing, the ability to play—the nuts and bolts of playing—is another, and takes deliberate training.
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In modern industrialized countries, we’re witnessing a more dysfunctional play. In mixed-age groups, where younger children may learn from older ones and older children must learn to be polite and fair with their youngest players, youngsters do not play as much. Children have less time to play and make up their own rules. They need time and space to learn how to play well, as well as a culture that encourages it. Increasingly That sort of early childhood culture does not appear to exist in the United States.
So, if you advise a youngster to “go create a fort out of a cardboard box” when they haven’t had a continuous diet of free, unstructured time and open-ended resources, expect an irritable and maybe disbelieving child.
“The actual early childhood curriculum isn’t always contained in the word we automatically label ‘preschool,'” you’ve stated. It is not required to take place in a school.” Could you elaborate on what you mean?
Anyone who has seen a child’s face light up when they witness a butterfly land on a flower knows that learning extends well beyond the classroom ability to learn in practically any situation. They can learn without the bells and whistles of what we term preschool with the loving assistance of responding people.
So much learning occurs spontaneously as a result of what scientists refer to as a “serve-and-return” kind of communication between an adult and a young kid, also known as a “conversational duet.” There’s a lot of evidence that by counseling parents and educators to utilize this method in their everyday interactions with children, we can reduce some of the disparities between lower-income children’s academic trajectories and those of higher-income families.