Good parenting not only helps children develop appropriate behaviour but is vital to healthy biological development and brain functioning – and there’s more and more research to confirm this.
The good news is, brain development is ongoing and it’s never too late to provide kids with an environment that helps them be their best.
You can download an easy-to-digest summary of some recent research called Five Numbers To Remember About Early Childhood Development, from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child.
Some of the most interesting information relates to a fairly new idea: that childhood experiences can have lifelong effects on not only mental health but physical health.
In the past, experts argued over whether “nature” (genetics) or “nurture” (environment) was the most important factor in child development.
But there’s now increasing recognition of the interplay between the two. While we’re only just starting to understand how chronic stress affects children’s development, there’s increasing evidence that providing parenting support to families, caregivers, and even other adults in children’s lives such as teachers, can have important and wide-ranging benefits for children.
In a nutshell, family relationships are vital in shaping a healthy and successful future. And the more we can spread this message, the better.