Everything begins in the childhood – plasticity of a child’s brain/

“He’s only just appeared on this world, and he’s already 2 years old”. Time flows very quickly and our children will be taking the Matura exam before we know it. The emergence of a child into this world is a true miracle. We want only the best for them, we dress them in colourful clothes, feed them to help them grow healthy, buy them stuffed animals and rattles… The joy is through the roof, and after a short while, we end up with stacks of too-small clothes and a small kid, who starts to explore the world in their own way.

Sometimes, after an eventful day, we make tea in the evening and wonder: “Who will he grow up to become? I wonder how he’ll do in school. Maybe he’ll become a vet?” Every parent loves their child in “their own way” and wants them to make it in life, but often fails to notice what’s important – their development. Most parents have no idea how important the first years of the child’s development are. Each our behaviour and every decision we make that concerns our children will impact their brain development.

The first years of the child’s life are a time of intensified changes, not only in physical development, but also in intellectual development. Each child is born with a great potential, which is sometimes subconsciously overlooked by parents. The child’s brain creates a huge number of neural connections (which explains the facts that a child has no learning limitations), but the skills that will develop depend on stimuli reaching the child from the outside world. Those that receive many impulses will remain, whereas the rest will disappear over time. Such an impulse may be, as in the case of my son, English, which I’ve been teaching him since he was born. Franco has no problems with distinguishing English and Polish. Activation of the brain in terms of language results in the children having better trained frontal lobe and being more creative.

Learning capabilities weaken over time, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn a new language when you’re 30 or 40. There’s always a possibility, but at that point you’re already a conscious person and decide about your life yourself. You need a strong motivation to take action and, most importantly, you have to devote more time to studying than a 2-year-old child. Until the 4th year of age, a child can learn as much as 3 or 4 languages. Incredible, isn’t it? They don’t need grammar, don’t ask about the details, fully accept all external stimuli and subconsciously save them on their “hard drive”. Correct brain development of a child depends on the love we give them (hugging, rocking, soft tone of voice), the amount of sleep and the stress they’re exposed to.

A child learns the most through the senses. They introduce the child to our world. Babies respond to speech and other sounds from the very beginning. Music is a great idea, not only for relieving stress, but also playing and learning together with the youngest ones. Additionally, we can stimulate the brain of our baby by reading since their earliest years. I started to read books to by son when he was around 2, and since that time there has been no evening without a book or picture games. Read aloud and describe what you can see on pictures, since that’s what lets children develop their memory, imagination, interests, or systems of values. The more visual and verbal stimuli your child’s brain receives, the more neural connections will be established. In the case of older children (three, four or five years old), regular reading allows them to gain a broader vocabulary, namely to better understand language. It will help them have better grades once they go to school, since if they read better, they can study better. Help your child form the habit of reading, not only in Polish, but also in another language.

Children also learn through physical activity, which aids brain development as well. Physical games, building houses out of building blocks or doing gymnastics together, playing football – it all causes the child to be better oxygenated (this also applies to adults) and, additionally, will cause new neural connections to appear with each new activity, thanks to which the brain will develop. During regular playing together with the child, learning becomes more enjoyable to them, and the amount of repetitions during the playing helps master a certain skill; for example, some children aged two to three can count to 20 in English, tidy up their toys in their room, enjoy playing football, or help their mothers cook.

Subconscious learning through fun + time spent together = a happy and bright child.

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