The role of parents in early childhood development is a vital one. In fact, the provision of a safe, loving, and stimulating environment in the home is one of the biggest determining factors when it comes to that child being able to successfully become a productive, responsible, and well-adjusted adult. In this post, we’re going to cover the things that a parent needs to provide for their child in the early childhood development stages.
Adequate and Responsive Feeding
This means that a child should be fed as much as they need and that they should be fed when hungry. Children do an incredible amount of growing in their early years, and it’s important for parents to provide the nutrition needed for them to physically develop as they should. More than simply feeding a child a sufficient amount of food, parents also need to take care to provide quality foods that are rich in the nutrients a developing child needs.
Safe Physical Environment
Having a safe physical environment for a young child ensures that they can explore their world and experiment without being harmed. For parents, this means making sure there’s nothing dangerous that their child can get ahold of such as chemicals, electrical cords, or sharp objects. It also means keeping a close eye on children at all times to ensure that they are not putting themselves into dangerous situations.
Supervision of Behavior
In addition to watching for dangers, parents also need to observe their child’s behavior in order to teach them the right way to act in every possible situation. Non-violent discipline is an important part of this teaching process and should be used as a tool to encourage positive behavior while punishing negative behavior in a way that allows the child to learn from it.
Promoting Socioemotional Development
Socioemotional development refers to the way a child develops an emotional connection to the people around them and learns how to empathize with others. Parents need to promote positive interactions with others and help their child learn to see things from other people’s perspective, an ability that develops by age eight.
Promoting Cognitive Development
As a child learns to interact with the people around them, they also develop cognitively. Their speech develops and they learn how the world works. Parents need to promote this cognitive development by providing one-on-one interactions with their child and, as much as possible, avoid relying too much on technology to teach their child about the world.
Through every step and stage of development, a child desperately needs the support of their parent to guide them through it. This takes many forms, from physically helping a child as they learn how to walk to giving advice when a child is in a conflict with another student at school. When a deep emotional bond is formed early between a child and their parent, it is easier for the child to reach out to their parent for help as they grow up and face more difficult problems.