The growth and development of this organ up through age five is unlike any other stage in a human’s development.
Medical Advisor Anna Lucía Campos, neuropsychologist
Affection, nutrition, having good role models, getting good sleep and having quality life experiences are the five essential ingredients to a child attaining optimal brain development. To get this recipe working correctly, dedicated parents are needed as well as teachers who can implement age-appropriate learning strategies.
As explained by the expert in early childhood education and neuroscience professor, Anna Lucía Campos, the overall need is a society that is willing to raise a more prepared generation. Campos adds that the brain is genetically programmed to learn from the environmental stimuli it receives from hearing, seeing and smelling. This is how individuals begin to acquire social, motor and language skills.
“The brain’s developmental process is the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. This is why it is so important for people who are around children to understand their different developmental stages and be aware that what they think and how they act can affect the behavior, learning process and the entire structure of the brain that the child is just beginning to develop,” Campos adds.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “DReading out loud, listening to songs and giving them the opportunity to interact with musical instruments are some appropriate ways of stimulating their neuronal connections. This does not mean times like playing in a park or enjoying an ice cream together should be forgotten about. “It’s about having healthy experiences that allow them to contribute to society, to become a thoughtful young adult; an adult that does not settle when it comes to values and that engages in practicing common social courtesies,” the specialist explains.
It is therefore important to emphasize that family is who is responsible for raising affectionate children, “Especially during early childhood, the brain has a degree of plasticity that can be molded by the stimuli and experiences it is exposed to,” Campos concludes. Despite the fact that the learning process of humans is complex and lasts a lifetime, this is the phase when humans acquire vital skills for adapting to their environment: skills for moving, communicating and interacting with others.
It is important to keep a few factors in mind that may inhibit the brain from developing to its fullest: chronic malnutrition, a lack of stimulation or learning opportunities, iodine deficiency and anemia.