Kids grow the fastest between the ages of one and five years. It’s not just us who are saying this, but experts back this up too as children transform from innocent toddlers to lively explorers.
These are the formative years of a child wherein they become stronger physically and mentally.
They also show cognitive development as they start to identify and learn letters, counting and colours. Did you know that by the age of two years, your little one will be able to say at least 50 words?
That number goes up to at least 1,000 words by the age of five years.
They also learn to acknowledge and communicate what they feel and start making friends too. And let’s not forget the extremely important sensory and fine motor development that makes them ready to join the school.
So yes, the age up to five years matters the most and as parents you need to pay attention to how you raise your little one during these crucial years.
If you don’t think there’s enough weight in what the experts have to say, maybe you need to hear it from someone who is directly affected by this. Maybe, hearing it from a child might help?
Making some pertinent points is 7-year-old Molly Wright. In her Ted Talk that has now gone viral, the young girl talks directly to parents about what they need to do to ensure the right growth and development of their babies before the age of five years.
Image Source: Ted.com
Who Is Molly Wright?
The seven-year-old is a Grade 2 student from Queensland, Australia, and is an advocate for early childhood development.
She is also one of the youngest people ever to give a TED Talk, and aspires to be a wildlife warrior, performer and is a budding social activist.
The little one also runs Molly’s Wildlife Warriors with the help of her parents, wherein a group of 40 children raise awareness and funds for Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation in Queensland.
What Molly Says About Formative Years Of A Child
Molly begins her TED Talk by presenting a simple idea. “What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?”
She goes on to explain, “Our brains develop faster in our early years than at any other time in our lives. It can create up to one million neural connections every second.”
But that can only happen when parents get actively involved in the day-to-day activities of the child.
Backing up her theory with scientific reasoning, Molly says, “But we need your help. Our healthy development depends on these top five things — connecting, talking, playing; a healthy home, and community. All of this helps our brains and us reach our full potential.”
Learning About Serve And Return
Image Source: Ted.com
Molly is then joined onstage by one-year-old Ari and his dad, Amarjot. They help the little advocate illustrate the concept called “Serve and return.”
Explaining it further, she says, “Scientists call it to serve and return. That’s just a grown-up way of saying connect, talk and play with us. Copycat games build imagination and empathy. Naming games build vocabulary and attention.”
Meanwhile, games like peek-a-boo help build memory and trust. Wright further explains that each time parents talk to babies, play with them and make them laugh, it only strengthens the relationship and mental health.
It also teaches quite a few important life skills like making friends, taking a test, getting a job, or even starting a family of their own in the future.
All of that makes sense, doesn’t it? Just to remind you, all of this is coming from a seven-year-old talking about big brain science.
Creating The Connection With Children
But what happens when the baby loses that connection with the parent. Ari can be then seen craving attention even as the father is busy on his electronic device.
She explains that kids are hardwired to seek out meaningful connections, and not receiving them causes confusion and stress.
She then asks the most important question to all: “What if our whole childhood was like that last 30 seconds? How hard it would be for a child to feel calm.”
A child needs to feel safe, to learn to trust anyone and that has a lifelong impact. When kids have positive relationships with grown-ups, it gives them the confidence to try new things and explore being themselves.
Molly concludes by saying, “Every moment together is an opportunity to connect, talk and play. Imagine the difference we could make if everyone everywhere did this. To us, the children, it’s so much more than just a game. It’s our future.”
Molly Leaves The Internet In Awe With Her Speech
Image Source: Ted.com
The awe-inspiring video has over 5.2 million views so far and over 156,000 likes, and lots of love from parents too. At the same time, people are inspired by Molly’s oratorship skills.
One user responded to her video by saying, “I wish I had this little girl’s public speaking skills. Phenomenal.” Another wrote, “A little great speaker who delivers a great message. Simple gestures but have a big impact for our little ones.”
Another user wrote about how they didn’t get this kind of attention while growing up, “The first 5 years… a shoutout to all the people, myself included, who feel as though you didn’t get that, good luck to you all.”
Yet another Facebook user wrote, “I’m sure these functions are beneficial even after the first 5 years and should be practised with our children daily to help them thrive. Never too late.”
How Can You Contribute During The Formative Years Of A Child?
You are the world to your children in their early years of life. So anything you do or not do will have a long-lasting impact on how they perceive the world in the later stages of life.
Children not only need all your love and affection but they also need you to contribute in different ways to make their lives better. Here are five things you can do to actively be a part of the formative years of a child.
- Make time for them: Take out time for your child and engage with them in activities that require both of you to interact with each other.
- Ensure your child gets enough rest: You should be the fun mum or dad but do put the foot down for their well-being time and again. Make sure they get ample rest throughout the day, particularly 11 to 13 hours of sleep.
- Read and talk to your child: Your toddler may be saying broken words or short sentences so far and the only way they can learn new words is by listening to them. Encourage them to talk more and make sure you talk enough so they can listen to you. You can even read a book at least once a day so they can pick up on the language and ideas.
- Encourage them to interact with other children: Organise playdates, take them to the park, enrol them in enrichment classes, there are many ways to get your kid to interact with other children of their age.
- Teach them skills: Skills are essential to determine a way of life. It helps children become independent while also boosting their self-confidence. Encourage children to do basic tasks like getting dressed, tying shoelaces or using the washroom on their own.
In the meantime, let us all applaud little Molly for her forthright opinion (stated with facts). Bravo!
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