Our brain is indeed a miracle. According to scientists, the miraculous works in our brain are mostly seen during the age of 0-3. The reason for this is that during these ages, the development of the brain is at its peak. It is also important to point out that when the brain is developing, it is not only the intellectual side that is improving but all areas are actually involved such as the emotional, social and locomotive areas.
These are important findings to help parents about the development of their children’s brain during the ages 0-3.
1. The Earlier the Better
During birth, the brain is ready to do almost everything. The problem is that the wirings that connects one area of the brain to another that would cause them to work together are not yet connected. It is during the first three years that these wires would start to connect with 1000 trillion synapses through the experiences she makes.
Our creator recognizes this truth as He gave a command to Moses and the whole of Israel. The book of Deuteronomy 6 makes an important command to make this foundational truth about God become central in Israel’s heart: “The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (6:4-5). The command does not stop there, God through Moses asks the Israelites to teach this truth diligently to our children in dynamic ways. What better way to start teaching our children about God than in this age range (0-3 yo) because it is in these years that their brains function like supersonic jets.
2. Valuing Relationships Early
According to scientists, even as early as four months, the brain is starting to develop “wires” that would activate the interaction and relationship aspect of our children. As parents continue to teach, communicate, and even comfort their children, this social aspect within our children develops better as they grow. It is vital then for parents to make sure that this aspect of our children is personally catered rather than relying on babysitters.
Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 2 gave a picture of the kind of intimate bond that he has with the church of Thessalonica; “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. (v 7)” This description of intimacy is built on a godly parenting truth that must be gentle, tender and caring towards our children.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
The reason? Because it continues to wire the brain for success. Therefore, letting our children practice writing, drawing, painting, or whatever activity daily is essential. From time to time a brain cell connects to other brain cells to spread information. They form strong community of cells. Repetition with enough sleep helps these wirings of our children’s brain become stronger. The main enemy of strong community of cells within our brain is too much screen and gadget exposure.
The book of Proverbs commands us to continually seek for wisdom. The words of the father to his son in chapter 4 was full of urgency as he says, “Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! (v. 5a)” This goal of acquiring wisdom and understanding is furthermore clarified in Proverbs 9:10 as seeking for the “fear of the Lord” and “the knowledge of the Holy One”. Thus, in all activities that we allow our children to do daily, it should always point to their right realization and right response to the nature of God.
4. Sing! Sing! Sing!
It is true that music develops the artistic area of the brain. In addition to this, the lyrics of the song also develops the language aspect of a child. Music and language can be partners that would further advance the development of our children.
The book of Psalm encourages God’s people to sing (Psalm 96). Singing is a powerful tool in praising God and in teaching the people about His character. Beautiful melodies with truthful lyrics must be a godly parent’s most powerful teaching tool. Psalm 8:2 tells us that God utilizes the praise of our children as a stronghold against the attacks of the enemies through wrong teachings and ungodly philosophies of the world.
5. Movements of the bodies are Movements in the Brain
Scientists concludes that as a child continues to exhibit bodily movements and gestures, they are also learning more and more. It is then important that we engage our children using gestures and bodily movements. The touch is the first and most powerful gesture that would critically help the infants learn as they feel our warmth.
Ephesians 6:4 exhorts fathers to “provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Our words and actions are the main ways we communicate to our children. These words and actions can either bless or produce wrath upon them. God commands us to be loving and nurturing as we teach and lead our children towards God.
Knowing these important information, we realize that there are countless possibilities that can help develop the brain of our children and all these activities are not isolated but inter-connected. As a child experiences touch, gestures, language and other influences, it impacts and connects their lives through making stronger community of brain cells. It is important to point out that whatever we do to our children, during the ages of 0-3, has a lifelong effect on them. Therefore, it is vital that we do not let other people or gadgets take over our children’s early life learning. God has given us the responsibility and opportunity to train, teach, love and nurture our children towards knowing and glorifying the One who made them.