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Children soak up so much in their first few years of life. Studies have shown that increased neuroplasticity in our early years allows for faster learning thanks to the ease with which a young brain can form new connections. It therefore stands to reason that what happens in a child's early years sets the scene for the rest of their lives, so invest in your child's future right from the start.
Socialization is Key
An excellent way to ensure your child will have a bright future is to socialize them early. Studies have shown that children who are around others from an early age have higher emotional intelligence. Not only will this allow them to handle relationships more easily throughout their lives, it also sets the foundation for skills such as empathy and self-awareness. A simple way to help your child with this is to enroll them in a quality child care center. While it may be hard to part with your baby, you don't necessarily have to send them every day, and they will benefit from any interaction no matter how short. Many playgroups and early learning centers also encourage parental involvement so the “separation” may not be as hard, or as severe, as you expect.
Apart from being a great bonding exercise for parents and children, reading to and with your child will give them a head start at life. Although we're all learning from our environments every day, reading can be a great way to learn about things that we may not necessarily interact with. This means that teaching your child to love reading early on in life will greatly improve their future because, as we all know, knowledge is power. Learning to read early can also promote a lifelong love of information which will benefit your child greatly throughout their schooling and into their careers.
This tip may seem like a no-brainer but the value that quality time with family adds to a child's life cannot be underestimated. Children who know they are loved develop higher self-worth which will allow them to deal with negativity far more rationally than a child who has lower opinions of themselves. Having fun with your child will also assist with their brain development which is of utmost importance at young ages.
Be a Good Role Model
Children learn by example, so letting them see you enjoying healthy food and activities will help them foster future healthy habits. Likewise, modeling skills such as empathy and self-respect will help your family’s newest member become a well-rounded individual. Be sure also to teach your child the importance of self-care. This will help you as well as them as it can difficult to look after others if you are neglecting yourself and taking time to be introspective together can be a wonderful bonding exercise.
Teach Them STEM Skills
STEM skills are increasingly important in today’s society. Even if your child does not explicitly need them for their future career path, they will add value to your child’s life and support them in other areas of learning. The science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries have stepped into the spotlight and shown that they are the way of the future but they are also important life skills. Science and mathematics will help children better understand the world around them, technology has become omnipresent and basic forms of engineering are just good to know.
Most importantly, love your children and enjoy their existence. You bought them into this world for a reason and there is nothing more rewarding than having a good relationship with your child.