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The first five years of a little one’s life are by far the most important in terms of their development and also for setting a good foundation of morals and values.
‘The experiences of the child during such sensitive periods may shape his or her future course of development in a manner that will be difficult to change later’. (Introduction to Psychology)
Research has also shown that the first five years are particularly important for the development of the child’s brain. These early experiences will have a direct impact on how the child will develop social and emotional skills which will have an effect on them for the rest of their lives.
‘Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life. They need love and nurturing to develop a sense of trust and security that turns into confidence as they grow’. (Facts for Life)
‘New research shows the critical impact of a child’s “environment of relationships” on developing brain architecture during the first months and years of life. ‘ (Harvard University)
Now I don’t know about you but this kind of thing really freaks me out. I have two children under 5 and I am constantly worried about everything I do with them and how that will affect them later on in life.
Whether it be letting them watch a bit too much TV, sometimes forgetting to brush their teeth or losing my temper with them because they have just pushed me too far that day and then spending the entire evening feeling like the worst Mother in the world.
They say the first five years are the most crucial for the child’s development but what they don’t say is that it’s also the hardest years for the Mother.
There will never again be a time where they will be so demanding of you, totally rely on you for everything from wiping their bums, feeding and clothing them to seeing to them when they wake in the night.
So my question is, that if a Mother is already under so much pressure just to get through a day with everyone in one piece, how can any of this so-called ‘breakthrough research’ really help us?
We already know that our children look to us for guidance and reassurance in this big scary world. We already know that too much TV is bad for them. We already know they need to eat fruit and veg every day and we already know that we must teach them right from wrong.
So how about trusting us Mothers to bring up our children the best we can and just letting us get on with it. They don’t call it Mother’s Intuition for no reason.