By Lakisha Reid
Children are born scientists. From day one they study the world around them. First and foremost in their world are their parents. They hear our voices from the womb, they connect with our heart beat, our sleep schedules, and enter the world eager to connect and be loved. Early on they began to follow us with their eyes, they perk up their ears when they hear our voices, they seek our physical touch and emotional connection. They watch, listen, and feel who we are, how we move, the sounds we make, the expressions on our faces.
They begin to form ideas and generate data based on their interactions with those that take care of them.
As they grow into toddlerhood, they begin to form more complex language, they have studied the sounds made by their parents and others around them, They have looked for meaning in these words. Through this observation, toddlers define and properly use words learned directly from parents.
They feel love, connection, protection, and power when parents and caregivers are loving and responsive to their needs.
They feel isolation, disconnection, vulnerability, and powerlessness when parents and caregivers are not responsive to their needs. Through these early interactions, the child's emotional blueprint is designed.
As children leave the solo play and parallel play stage and become of age to take on play partners, they reach back to their foundational social experiences. A child who has experienced rejection, excessive punishment and reward, bribery and other control based tactics learns to use these same tactics in play.
A child who hears harsh language, negative feedback, and physical punishment will learn that this behavior is a part of their culture, this will be written into their blueprint.
As caregivers and parents, we must always remember that we are being observed. Our actions and behaviors have a direct effect on the actions and behaviors of our children. We ARE their first teachers.
As parents and caregivers, we should make it our practice to take a look in the mirror and reflect upon the image that we see.
The mirror I speak about is the mirror of our child's eyes, look deep into their eyes, if you look deep enough, you will find your own reflection. Do you like what you see?
Founder of Play Empowers-Sharing The Power Of Play,
Early Childhood Presenter and Consultant
Co-Host of Dirty Playologist Podcast-www.stitcher.com/podcast/explorations-early-learning/dirty-playologist
Owner/Educator at Discovery Early Learning Center www.facebook.com/discoveryearlylearning/