Most of a child’s experiences involve relationships with caregivers. Newborns come into the world eager for this interaction. They want to connect with you right from the beginning. It is this emotional connection that helps give them the confidence that they need to learn. Science has demonstrated that children who receive lots of love and attention actually learn better (watch video clip). From the very first moments of life with a baby, the love and attention that you share will lay the groundwork for later learning.
Everyday interactions offer the comfort and security that help promote learning (watch video clip):
- Love and affection: Giving a child love and attention helps her feel confident, relaxed and happy, which in turn, promotes her intellectual development (watch video clip).
- A predictable world: Providing routines and consistent responses gives a child a sense that the world is trustworthy and teaches him that he can depend on you (watch video clip).
- Opportunities for fun: Activities that most encourage a child’s brain to grow are those that she enjoys. If she is forced to participate in activities that do not hold her interest, she will tune out.
- The sound of your voice: The newborn brain is especially interested in sounds – the building blocks of speech and language. Let a baby hear your voice as much as possible (watch video clip).
- Understanding and patience: Respond to a child’s needs without worrying that you will spoil him. By responding, you teach him that you care and that he can trust you to read his signals.
- Time to digest new information: Beware of over-stimulation. If a child is exposed to a lot of new information without time to digest and process it, she will tune out or break down.
Find out more things you can do to promote learning, and learn about the ages and stages of your child's development.
Understanding Children: What is intelligence? (.pdf)
Understanding Children: How does my child learn? (.pdf)
What is early learning? (.pdf)