I remember, once, my daughter was watching the water in the bathtub drain out after a bath. She observed the water twirling, and disappearing down the drain, forming a little eddy there, and said, “Amma, look a water ballerina.” I was delighted at how she described that visual. It was true, it did look like a ballerina turning on her toes furiously. My daughter must have been barely three then. Another time, I remember my son being asked to count to 100. Instead of counting all the way to 100 like most kids would do, he counted in tens and counted each ten on his hand so he wouldn’t lose count or get bored. I was frankly quite amazed at this approach, so I asked him why he did that.
“I was counting like how you do when you count a bag of Skittles to share between the three of us,” he said. He must have been four. There are several such moments in all our lives that makes us think about what’s going on in that little mind of theirs. BUZZ! First mistake. Their minds are not little. They are as open and vast as the sky itself and they are learning every moment, to learn the truth of what they say. “Let me experiment with eating a bug.” Bite. “Ewww.” Lesson learnt. “Let me experiment with crying very loudly when I am hungry.” Crying for no reason usually ends up with a harried mother who probably makes it worse. So as far as the screaming is concerned, that experiment didn’t work for a toddler learning to experiment. The next time she’ll try something else in order to get what she wants. What am I talking about here?
Learning. But is that all I am talking about? How does learning take place? In the Brain. And did you know that 90 percent of brain development happens by the time a child is six years old?
Between the ages of 0 and 3, especially, is when the brain is doing most its work to form itself. From the day she was born to around the time she’s six, her brain is not just working but growing; retaining things, remembering things, registering things, realising things, recognising things.
In the first example of my little girl, you can very clearly see what aspects of her cognition she’s developing. She’s using association to describe something she sees in everyday things: ballerina movements is equal to the whirlpool of water. She’s also using her linguistic skills and the human brain’s tendency to look for and find patterns everywhere around us. She also enlisted her brain in wonder — how does this whirlpool happen and what do I know that looks like it? Where as my son was developing his numeracy, memory as well as experimenting to see if he could replicate what he saw me do
It is on us, as parents, to make it non-negotiable that we will do everything in our power to provide them with what they need. From food and nutrition, to adequate warmth, love and care. The last three most mothers can manage: the first two? Well, we do our best. And for the times that we feel doubtful, we seek help. For me, I took help of Junior Horlicks along with the regular diet. I found it has DHA, Choline and other nutrients that help in brain development along with nutrients that help in healthy height and weight gain.
We all love to talk about our kids and it’s nice, just for a bit. (As long as you know when you’re starting to bore your audience and gracefully pipe down and let someone else have air time.) Perhaps it would be more enriching to understand why our kids behave the way they do and what is going on with them, literally inside their heads, in order to understand how we can be the ideal parent that we need to be.
If the brain is rapidly developing since they day a child was born, and it uses up immense amount of energy in growing, till the age of six. It’s absolutely essential to provide it with the best possible nutrition. In that sense, even though an adult has a lot more responsibility and deals with many more complex tasks than a toddler, if you actually look at the working of the brain, a child’s brain is a lot more active and energy consuming than a grown ups. Simply because a grownup can take a lot of information for granted, as opposed to a toddler for whom the world is big, new and full of wonder.
Do watch this video here that talks about an active mind of an active child!
(In association with Junior Horlicks)
Disclaimers: Junior Horlicks is a nutritional food powder which as part of a balanced daily diet helps meet your child’s nutritional requirements. This product is not an infant milk substitute or infant food for less than 2 years old.