A child is born with a fully developed brain. How the brain matures further depends on the environment around him.
is one of the first organs to be built while your child is still in
your womb. When he is born, his brain comprises of a billion brain cells.
From the time he is born, your child's brain is constantly working and
learning new things. This is a lifelong process. The brain's learning
ability is greatly influenced by both external and internal factors.
Parts of the Brain
The human brain has two main parts; the brain itself and the brain stem. In the brain,
the cerebrum is the largest part. It is further subdivided into four
regions. Each region has a specific role to play. The occipital lobe
controls the development of vision.
Development related to the senses of smell, hearing and language are
governed by the temporal lobe. The frontal lobe is responsible for the
development of fine motor skills while the parietal lobe influences an individual's perception ability.
The brain also controls unconscious movements. The brain stem is in
charge of basic body functions. These include the beating of the heart,
breathing, etc. The hypothalamus, which is the master control for all
the hormones in the body, is also present in the brain.
Stimulating Brain Development
Although a child is born with a large number of brain cells, most of them are lost after birth. When the brain learns something new, the brain cells
make a connection, storing the information. Over a period of time,
those cells which do not have any information stored in them are
naturally discarded. This allows the remaining cells to develop
Depending on how you want your child's brain to develop, you must provide the required stimulus.
For example, developing a child's language skills involves reading and
speaking to him. Developing other areas will require a variety of
different stimuli. Stimulating a child's brain starts from the moment a child is born. Most of a child's development takes place during the first year after birth.
From the moment your child is born, his learning process begins. You
can stimulate his visual senses by hanging mobiles above his crib so
that he can watch them move. He will not be able to focus on them since
his visual range at this stage is only around twelve inches. However,
he will be able to perceive some movements. Talking to your child
introduces him to language.
He cannot reply to you at this stage but his brain is already making
the necessary connections to associate words with meanings. Touch is
also important for your baby's brain to develop. If you constantly
touch your baby, it reassures him and creates a positive environment
for his brain to continue to learn new things.
As your child grows older, his senses will develop further and
he will be more responsive to his environment. He will want to play
with objects and interact with people. If you hold a toy in front of
him, he will reach out and try to grab it. Over time, he will learn to
recognise which objects are of greater importance to him. Continue to
interact with him as often as possible. Research has shown that a
child's intelligence quotient (IQ) is influenced by the amount of interaction he has with his parents.
After your child has reached six months of age, he should be given
opportunities to increase his co-ordination skills. When he crawls and
attempts to walk, it is not just helping him learn to co-ordinate his
limb movements, but it is also strengthening them. At this stage, you
can improve his cognitive skills by identifying objects you place in
front of him and speaking about them. Tell him stories using
Talking about past experiences encourages your child to develop his
memory. The more new situations he is exposed to, the more he will
learn. Provide your child with plenty of opportunities for him to
interact with other children of his age. Take him to new and
interesting places like the zoo, gardens, etc.
Parents play a big role in a child's development. While the stimuli you
provide may not necessarily make your child a genius, they will
definitely make it easier for him to learn new things later on.
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- The Indiaparenting Team
Do you think that parents play a big role in their child's development? What games do you play with your child to stimulate him?
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