Understanding your young child’s brain and behaviour

publication date: Mar 29, 2017
author/source: Mine Conkbayir

Early ChildhoodFor babies and young children consistent companionship, affection and playful communication provide the foundation for their emergent emotional, social and language development. How a child manages their emotions in difficult situations shapes pathways in the brain, which in turn create the "blueprint" for future emotional responses and behaviours, explains Mine Conkbayir, author of Early Childhood and Neuroscience.published by Bloomsbury.

When your child feels stressed or threatened (this could be as a result of you losing your temper and shouting, or not responding to their needs for companionship), their limbic system (the brain’s emotional centre) goes into overdrive and they cannot think rationally.

Maturation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) enables the infant to develop emotional competence as this exerts control over the limbic system and facilitates higher order thinking such as self-regulation, planning, decision making, problem-solving and impulse control. This means your child will be better able to think before they act.

Maturation of the brain, including pathways for emotion and emotional regulation, is experience dependent, that is, social interactions directly its development.

Here are my top tips:

Published by Bloomsbury, Mine Conkbayir’s latest book, Early Childhood and Neuroscience: Theory, Research and Implications for Practice  is available from Amazon.

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