Success at work, strong bonds, relationships with the parents. What happens to us as adults, our character and attitude towards the world are strongly influenced by what happens in the first 5 years of our existence. This is confirmed by a US study coordinated by the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, the Abecedarian Project, which for 45 years has followed a group of 100 individuals studying the relationship between adult life and the first 5 years of life. We talked about it with Dr. Marco Nuara, Pediatrician and Neonatologist at Humanitas San Pio X.
The quality of the life depends on the education received in childhood.
Adults who have been well cared as children, until the fifth year of life at least, have more success at work, are more balanced and have more stable relationships with parents. This is confirmed by a US study coordinated by the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, the Abecedarian Project, which for 45 years has followed a group of 100 individuals studying the relationship between adult life and the first 5 years of life.
The research considered two groups of children and examined their level of learning over time, monitoring their quality of life against the positive and negative experiences of the first five years of life. What emerged was that a quality education allows the children who live in situations of great social distress to achieve excellent goals in life. “Not only education, but also the social environment and relationships where the child grows up influence positively or negatively the emotional and cognitive development of the individual – explains Dr. Marco Nuara -. Situations of discomfort and stress can reduce the ability to learn and manage emotions and consequently relationships”.
The right stimulation changes the brain
Anyone who is adequately followed from an educational point of view for the first 5 years of life also benefits in adulthood. Children should be stimulated with games, readings and dialogue with them if they want to influence their brain in a plastic way. Activities, readings and conversations, even when they are very young, therefore seem essential to development. The research showed that adults who had been followed and stimulated from 6 weeks to 5 years of life were more likely to find employment, to succeed at work, to achieve a good standard of living and to have a balanced relationship with their parents. This is because when the brain is born it is ready to build neuronal networks, but these must be activated by experience.
“Always talk to your children, from the first days of life – recommends the pediatrician -. The voice of the parent, in addition to creating emotion and reassuring will stimulate the development of language.
“Let the children listen to music and songs that stimulate them to reproduce. Let the child move freely in space and learn about himself, his body and his surroundings. Offer as many shapes and materials as possible to manipulate, always checking their safety first.
Childhood as a central moment for life and care
Childhood is a central moment in the life and care of an individual, a result that is not surprising for experts in the field. The close correlation between the early years of childhood and the emotional, cognitive and social development of the individual has already been highlighted in various studies. The watchword is therefore to stimulate as much as possible newborns and young children. Since what can make the difference is the emotional education, the adult must become an emotional coach. By hearing what the child feels, the adult teaches the child to recognize emotions. “By naming and translating into words the emotional states of the child, we help him to interpret them, to manage them and consequently to adapt to situations, especially those of stress, which will live in childhood, but also in his adult life,” concludes the pediatrician.