Children are full of potential because their minds and bodies are still growing. But a growing mind is a fragile one, and for your child to blossom into the happy and successful adult that they deserve to be, they need to be well cared-for in their early years.
We are armed with more knowledge than past generations, and we now know that a person’s early childhood is a defining time. The education a child receives early in life has a drastic effect on their odds of reaching academic and professional goals, and the environment a child grows up in plays a huge part in the person they become emotionally.
How you can create the best possible environment for your child
So how can you create the perfect environment for your child and give them the best possible chance of becoming a happy and healthy adult?
You can’t completely control the environment your child grows up in, of course, but you can do your best to make it as perfect as possible. There are a few simple ways to do this, and putting in effort in the right places will make a world of difference for your child.
- Early education. We now know that early education plays a vital role in preparing your child for future schooling. It’s extremely important that you spend time reading to your child, speaking with them, and teaching them small things. It’s also wise to enroll your child in a pre-K program, if possible.
- Make time for family. If you’re spending time with and around your child, you’re helping out with their early childhood education – studies show that children who spend more time with their parents hear more words and gain an advantage over neglected peers. But education isn’t everything, and it’s just as important to note that time with you builds bonds of love and support between you and your child. Make your child feel secure and loved by spending time with him or her!
- Home, sweet home. Your child’s home is his or her environment. When you buy or build a home, think about how you design your space. Can you give your child his or her own bedroom? Own bathroom? Will your child’s room be closer to the bookshelves or to the video games (for that matter, which of these things will you put in your child’s room?). Give your child a private, secure space within easy reach of opportunities to learn and grow. Other things to consider include the safety of your neighborhood (which can affect your child’s psyche) and the quality of the local school district.
- Care for the body and mind. You probably already take your child to the pediatrician routinely. Remember to take the same care with their mind as you do with their body! If you child shows any symptoms of mental strain or illness, or if they have experienced a traumatic event, be proactive about taking them to a psychologist or psychiatrist. We’re becoming increasingly aware of the importance of good mental health, so don’t let outdated stigmas get between your child and the healthy, happy life they deserve. There are a ton of great options in modern psychiatry. From traditional discussions to art therapy, psychiatrists and psychologists have ways of communicating with your children that even you, as a parent, may not have full access to.
It’s not always possible to do perfectly in each of these categories. Sometimes, you’ll be too busy to read with your child or will have to save some cash by going with a less-than-perfect home. That’s okay! Just remember to put as much effort as you can space into these categories, and you’ll be doing the best that you can to give your child the best shot possible at a happy and healthy life.