Sunday, December 29, 2013

Respecting Each Newborn - 5 Reasons Why

The Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University has created, in my opinion, a supremely clear five-step explanation as to the importance of early childhood development and education for every newborn.

Following are the five points in conclusion: 

1. Getting things right the first time is easier and more effective than trying to fix them later. The early years matter because, in the first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second.

2. Early childhood matters because experiences early in life can have a lasting impact on later learning, behavior, and health. Differences in the size of children’s vocabulary first appear at 18 months of age.

3. Highly specialized interventions are needed as early as possible for children experiencing toxic stress. Significant adversity impairs development in the first three years of life.

Yes! The world needs curious children

4. Early life experiences actually get under the skin and into the body, with lifelong effects on adult physical and mental health.

5. All of society benefits from investments in early childhood programsProviding young children with a healthy environment in which to learn and grow is not only good for their development—economists have also shown that high-quality early childhood programs bring impressive returns on investment to the public.

I (Papa Green Bean) encourage every reader to share this link.  It is that important a message. It is relevant for parents, caregivers, educators, governments, business leaders, and for the quality of our collective future as humankind on earth. I realize that these are idealized sappy cliches that may turn off the hardened ones out there, but I stand my ground with a Papa Green Bean smile of optimism. My simple plea of respecting each newborn is derived quite directly from the child itself. Don't we all surely draw a deep (at least subconscious) appreciation of the purity of a baby while we emit 'oohs' & 'aahs' at their blatant cuteness? Many adults instinctually appreciate a babies innocence but then treat them in harmful ways with intellectual short-sighted naivety. For example, giving a baby a pacifier to keep them quiet, letting a baby cry itself to sleep because your parents did, not reading or talking to a baby because they are just babies...

Babies are born loving to learn, no?

Very early childhood education and development is 'Birth to Three' in my opinion. Many educators believe education starts when formal schooling begins, or around age five. Some believe it doesn't really begin until high school or even college. Few believe it begins before the toddler is able to speak a coherent syllable, around the age of one. It can even be argued, Papa Green Bean says,  that it begins before birth. Certainly at birth. 

Papa Green Bean Plea - Please open up the Harvard link and click on each of the five steps for a short but further description of each point. 

Live with the eyes of children - 

                      Love with the hearts of children - 

                                             Laugh with the souls of children - 

Papa Green Bean