Bookstore shelves have long been crammed with titles claiming to help parents raise smarter, healthier, better-behaved children through focusing on cognitive skills and physical development, Recently, however, psychologists have been moving away from these areas. The results so far have been enlightening and suggest new ways of parenting.
The most important of the emerging revelations is that the key to stimulating emotional and intellectual growth in a child is the parents' behavior―what parents do, what they don't do, how they scold, how they reward, and how they show affection, In computer terms, if the child's brain is the hardware, then parents provide the software.
The first two years of life are critical in this regard because that's when babies are building the mental foundation that will dictate their behavior through adulthood. In the first year alone, a baby's brain grows from about 400 grams to an amazing 1,000 grams. While this growth and development is in part predetermined by genetics, exactly how the brain grows is dependent upon emotional interaction, and that involves parents.
Studies now suggest that pushing a baby to learn words, numbers, colors, and shapes is potentially harmful. Putting pressure on a child to learn information sends them the message that he or she needs to “perform” to gain the parents' acceptance, and this can dampen natural curiosity.
Instead, the challenge for parents' is how to interact lovingly with their infants in ways that make them excited about the world around them. At such stage of development, emotions lead the way, followed by the learning of facts and skills, It makes sense: Consider how well you learn when you are passionate about a subject, compared with when you are simply required to learn it. That passion is the emotional fuel driving the cognitive process,