I frequently write and speak about the fact that secure attachment has an enormous impact on success in life. Consistently meeting the needs of an baby has a dramatic, positive and long lasting influence on brain development. Children that are securely attached as a result of the the loving interaction from attuned parents are going to be most successful in learning.
Making it a priority to provide what a growing brain need most is essential. When an infant learns that a caregiver is dependable this creates a secure base for the child. With this security wired in their brain a child is then ready to learn and explore the world.
However, when reading or other cognitive learning is pushed on children at early ages optimal development does not occur. Children are not set up for success through ignoring the primary need of the brain. The needs of a developing brain does not change just because society has decided learning should happen earlier.
Due to my intense interest in making this critical information well know, I am thrilled to share an article entitled, Your Baby SHOULDN'T Read written by Marsha Lucas, Ph. In the article Dr. Lucas states,"Early reading doesn't do much for your child's success in school, and there's evidence that it may even be detrimental."
Following is a portion of this excellent article:
"First and Foremost: The fundamental task of early childhood isn't learning to read, or to "get ahead" for school, or to impress the neighbors, or to give the folks something to brag about. Encouraging children to surge ahead beyond their real developmental needs leaves them with some really sludgy clean-up to grapple with later on.
The most important task of early childhood is experiencing a healthy, secure attachment in which the child's caregivers are attuned to the child's inner state and respond in a contingent manner.
Let me say that again. What kids need from the get-go is a parent who "gets" them, who pays attention to what's going on inside them, and who responds to them in a way that's actually related to what the kid is feeling.
Healthy, secure, attuned attachment gives kids some much deeper "advantages" in life than whether they learn to read early (and learning to read early doesn't actually give them any advantages, anyway - which I'll get to in section II below).
The research on attachment shows that there are a number of benefits which last a lifetime including but not limited to at least the following dozen:
You can read the entire article here
- The ability to sustain attention
- Better management of physical reactions to emotions - leading to improved immunity and fewer stress-related illnesses
- Less anxiety
- Better relationships with childhood peers, and healthier relationships as adults
- Fewer behavioral problems
- Increased capacity for empathy
- Greater ability to regulate mood (for example, calming down from excitement, or not getting caught up in frustration)
- Enhanced skills in communicating emotions in healthy ways
- Greater confidence and self-esteem(and it isn't just based on performance and grades, but rather a sense of abiding and healthy self-worth)
- Better able to generate alternative solutions to interpersonal conflict
- Enhanced insight into themselves, and others
- Better modulation of fear, allowing for a willingness to explore and take on growthful challenges"
* Marsha Lucas, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and neuropsychologist, and has been practicing psychotherapy and studying the brain-behavior relationship for nearly twenty years.
Love Your Baby Brain Packet gives parents ideas and information for loving interaction leading to secure attachment.