Part 3 of our series on family interactions and how differences in the way children and parents think…

Perhaps the best practical advice for creating healthy, emotionally & physically resilient children comes from an article entitled “From Neurons to Neighborhoods” , headed by Dr Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., the Julius B. Richmond FAMRI Professor of Child Health and Development and founding director of the university-wide Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

• How young children feel is as important as how they think, particularly with regard to school readiness. (Make them feel special)

• Healthy early development depends on nurturing and dependable relationships (Ensure they are surrounded by nurturing, supportive caregivers)

• Early experiences clearly influence brain development, but a disproportionate focus on birth to three begins too late and ends too soon (Provide an array of learning experiences and continue the bonding well into their late teens, early twenties)

• Impart values, aspirations and a sense of what’s important in life (Talk to them from an early age about what’s important and why)

• Model healthy behaviours that you’d like your children to embrace. (Walk your talk, and don’t give up even when it feels like you’re getting nowhere)

Whilst being in a relationship and a family does have its share of challenges and exasperations (I know this very well first hand – but that’s a story for another time!), we do know that effective families can also play a major role in how successful and well balanced we are in life. It plays a significant role in the decisions that we make, how we cope with the curve balls that we are thrown from time to time and how we view ourselves after recurrent failures or even successes.

It is interesting that the insights gained from neuroscience paves the way for our future successes based on our current daily practices with those we love, starting with our children.

Deborah Peterson
Emergenetics Master Trainer