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The making of a healthy child starts way back before conception, and inside the womb. It begins when two consenting parents take that important decision to have a child and are ready for the responsibilities that come with raising him or her. This calls for a healthy diet, physical wellness and a prepared mindset on the part of the parents. Upon delivery, the interaction the child has with the real world, in addition to early childhood care, is extremely crucial.

The ages between 0 – 8, also known as the early formative years are of particular importance because this is when it all happens.

Besides the obvious events and milestones that happen during this time, other interesting happenings and facts are taking place in their lives and will intrigue you if you pay attention. And in addition to the known and unknown disruptions in parenting such as nutrition, physical activity, and living /sleep environment, these facts will take shape in different ways.

Read on to find out.


1. At 1½ Years, Your Child is Listening to Your Little Secrets!

Children begin to interpret sounds as early as the 6th month of pregnancy. They hear and are excited by the mother’s voice this early. After delivery, their hearing ability goes up another notch.

Hearing in language development is categorized as a receptive language skill and starts quite early compared to speech. The latter which takes shape months later is categorized as expressive language. By mastering hearing, children learn to interpret spoken words before converting them to expressive speech.

You will be surprised how fast children figure out what you don’t want them to hear, but won’t tell you. Of course, they cannot speak, and they wouldn’t even if they did.

Here is a simple cheat-sheet:

  • At 5 months a child recognizes his/her name.
  • At 1 year they have a rich vocabulary of 50 words, which are basically nouns such as mummy and daddy.
  • At 14 months they know when you are angry, happy or said as seen in your facial expressions.
  • At 1 year and a half, they learn an average of 9 words a day and can figure out what they mean!

It is quite easy to assume they understand little or nothing of the words you share with family and friends in close proximity, just because they cannot speak!

child listener
Early childhood care involves using language correctly. Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

Be mindful of the following language in the presence of children:

  • Profanity
  • Hate language
  • Child comparison
  • Temperament
  • Being too judgmental

The wrong assumption makes parents use inappropriate language and discuss inappropriate content before them. The little fellows will absorb all the dirt you speak and grow up with vocabulary! They will use vocabulary during the teenage and adult years.

On the hand, they will develop low self-esteem if you compare them negatively against other children, including brothers!

Watch your mouth and what you say every time you are in the company of children above 1 year. Make a point to use good language and only indulge in good content.


2.  Your Curious Child May Ask 73 Questions Every Day!

 child questions
Your Child will always have questions for you. Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

You read it right, 73 questions! That is the number of questions your curious child is bound to ask in the course of one day. The number is less for the less curious and more for those who receive active parenting. These questions start when they are about 3 years and intensify as they approach 5. 

The Why, What, Who, When, Where and Which questions are based on curiosity over everything that tickles their minds. The curiosity is also helped by the fact they are learning new things, coupled with their ability to retains lots of information.

Most of the questions are targeted towards the parents, who apparently, are unable to answer them all. Some of them turn to Google to get the job done.

There is plenty of good when children ask questions:

  • It is good for relating with parents and family
  • Their brains are stimulated
  • It quickstarts their ability to learn
  • They learn communication skills

What Are These Questions?

Popular questions kids will ask come as they walk, work and view the world around them. The questions become more complex as they grow up.

Popular among the questions include:

  • Why is it dark at night?
  • Why is the sky blue?
  • Where do children come from?
  • Why do people die?
  • Why do I have to go to school?
  • Where is God?

Yet there are the persistent and probably annoying questions which may seem self-explanatory. They are not to children. Questions such as,

  • What time are we reaching?
  • Is Daddy coming soon?
  • Why are we not moving?

Parents are advised to be responsive enough to make children trust them with their questions. They should not back away. Otherwise, kids could just as well turn to peers and others who may provide all the wrong answers.


3. Your Child is More Emotional Than You!

emotional child
Your child is quite emotional: Image by Wilhan José Gomes wjgomes from Pixabay

Emotional development is a very crucial part of early childhood development. Almost in its entirety, emotional requirements in children rotate around the need to feel loved, protected, included and ultimately the need to feel important.

Give them all the above and you will be on the road to solve their emotional needs. This is however easier said than done, notwithstanding the busy schedules you have, and your ability to pinpoint exactly what IMPORTANT means to the child.

Deny them these and they will rant with extreme anger which is usually more than you are prepared to handle on a regular basis. Your attempts to soothe and pamper them, or worse, scream at them do not seem to work.

Why, you ask yourself?

Children approach emotional matters with an understandable lack of experience. It is something they are getting to learn under unpleasant circumstances. They have nothing to refer to or compare with. In addition, they experience tremendous hormonal growth and changes, which can play havoc with emotional stability.

On the other hand, adults went through these tantrums during early childhood, and in addition to many years of experience, have mastered how to get emotions under control.

Finally, children are overwhelmed by circumstances and feel hopeless especially when they don’t seem to know what is happening to them. Ensure your early childhood care is centered around addressing all the small details.

4. Everything Happens Between 0 – 8 Years!

Early childhood care should start early
Early childhood care should start early

Early childhood care starts at 0 up until 8 years. Also referred to as the early formative years, this is when initial mental and body growth takes place and the real character of your child is taking shape. During this period the physical health, social, emotional and cognitive development of your child is getting a critical foundation.

According to the World Health Organization,

Early child development (ECD) encompasses physical, socio-emotional, cognitive and motor development between 0–8 years of age.

WHO

Grab these years, indulge your children and make the most of everything before they turn 8. Otherwise, it may just be too late.

According to UNICEF,

During these years, a child’s newly developing brain is highly plastic and responsive to change as billions of integrated neural circuits are established through the interaction of genetics, environment, and experience. Optimal brain development requires a stimulating environment, adequate nutrients and social interaction with attentive caregivers. Unsafe conditions, negative interactions and lack of educational opportunities during these early years can lead to irreversible outcomes, which can affect a child’s potential for the remainder of his or her life

Early childhood care and indulgence will ensure your child grows into an able person socially, emotionally, and is well skilled and productive. The opposite is true of a neglected child, whose interpersonal relationship skills will get a beating and may have a wild temperament.

The negative effects of a neglected child can manifest in irrational and dangerous behavior, social inappropriateness, emotional instability, and unproductive lifestyle. Here are just some factors that will affect the formative years of your child:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Malnutrition
  • Environment stress
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor sleep
  • Lack of responsible parenting
  • Poor social interaction

More reads:

10 Signs of Bad Parenting in the 21st Century

Reference:

  1. Factors Affecting Early Childhood Growth and Development:
  2. Curious Children Will Ask an Average of 73 Questions Every Day