Boosting Brain Development

(MENAFN- Jordan Times) By Dina Halaseh,
Educational Psychologist

Many parents think the newborn stage is the hardest stage of parenting, while others tend

to believe the toddler years are much more challenging. Last year, as our son Sanad turned

one, I shared with you some of the practices I focused on to help promote his intelligence.

Turning two!

You may already know that 90 per cent of your child's
brain development occurs by the age of five years. This
is the time of significant wiring and growth that

out your child's brain for life.

This shows us the importance of including brain
promoting activities and practices.

During the second year of life we seehuge jumps
in what a child can do, a 22-month-old is definitely
capable of more than a 13-month-old which gives us a
wide range of things to cover.

A pruning process

As your child grows, a pruning process occurs that helps
us understand the importance of experiences and the
environment, and the role they play in the development
of young brains.

At three, your child's brain has approximately 1,000
trillion connections, or synapses. Once a teenager, the
pruning process results in almost half or 500 trillion
synapses, which are carried into adulthood.

Your child's experiences and relationships during the
early years are what continuously grow the brain and
construct the neural circuits. Positive early childhood
experiences lead to optimal brain development, which
serve as the basis for other skills and abilities children
require for academic and life successes.

A healthy environment

In our“turning one” article we mentioned safety,
building secure attachments with parents, lowering
stress and its negative long-term effects on the brain,
keeping up with good sleep habits, food intake and
exposing your child to fresh air. As hard as it sounds,
these all are still important and applicable for our
second year.

We also mentioned keeping your child's brain
stimulated. This may look different in the second year,
but the main idea remains the same. Keeping your

child's brain stimulated might even look different
during the span of the year.

At this point, as parents, you can try building blocks,
puzzles, role play, songs and movement, sorting shapes
and colours, counting and introducing numbers, giving
them independence and instructions, drawing and

Keep your child active with an activity where your child
repeats the skill until it is mastered is key!

The important thing is to keep your child mentally
active and spending time building skills and exploring
new ones too!

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine


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