The construction of the brain is interdependent on the child’s first experiences. The YouTube video provided for this module by Dr. Michael W. Regier explains that in the first two years of a child’s life brain cells that are used are reinforced and those that are seldom used break connections. This “use it or lose it” effect is based on early childhood experiences which need to be emotional and social as shown by the author, as well as positive. The enriched environment needed for brain construction is henceforth reflected in our textbook through Bowlby’s Theory on Attachment which “…drives the child to stay close to an adult who gives the child sense of safety and security” (p.131). Having secure attachments as the child’s first experiences are vital for the construction of the brain. Current studies dictate the major effect of such relationships on the right hemisphere of the brain, “hormones are released in the brain and a network of mirror neurons or brain cells understand and reflect the emotional experience” (p.133).
The factor of temperament and its relationships to stress and the response secured from different experiences based on the individuality of each child. The child’s experiences and the construction of the brain may have similar ecosystems but the temperament of the child resonates in the way connections will be formed due to the individuality of each child. Thus, no two children are alike in the way they form connections and react to similar stimuli. This can be easily observed in most families across the globe where there are two children from the same set of parents but who react, act, and have formed in very different yet dynamic ways within the same household.
“It is critical that children in the early stages of life receive as much attention and modeling as possible” is a great way to express the importance of early childhood development. One of the key components in training staff in DAVIE ACADEMY, an early childhood center is to develop the experience that teachers have with children and vice versa, the paramount lessons that children gain from teachers. “Ensuring basic needs” is on the parallel level of tying in the emotional connections for a young learner who is developing receptors for trust and care within their mind, thus it is the beginning of formulating a relationship that goes beyond learning. In DAVIE Academy, teachers and staff make sure to use the best age-appropriate strategies for each child, which will ensure their growth, development, and formation of secure and loving relationships to last a lifetime.
Wittmer, D. S., & Petersen, S. H. (2018). Infant and toddler development and responsive program planning: A relationship-based approach. NY, NY: Pearson.