The Child Needs it! Vol.2, No.1

The enviable ingenuities of Children in this contemporary period are pretty surprising. They exhibit talents that could hardly be differentiated from those of adults. One concrete instance in which their intelligence is better experienced than imagined is in musical display. Here, they are often regarded as destined kids, super kids and so on.

Remarkably, it could be recalled that shortly before this 21st Century, the activities of children are commonly found in a moon light display, where they gather for nocturnal dances, storytelling, or any other form of play after their supper. Sometimes, during the day, Children gather to imitate their parents as in a family setting. In such activity, the boy and girl who seem to be the most senior among them become the father and mother respectively, while others assume the role of children in a family.

Fortunate enough, in these recent times it could be observed that children at the age of seven can perform wondrous and lucrative acts for the society. As to what could be responsible for this exponential growth among the young ones, many believe that it is as a result of six months exclusive breast feeding. Perhaps, infants before the 21st century were not exclusively breastfed; but this is false.

Well, it is on record that the American Academy of Paediatrics recommends exclusive breast feeding for the first six months of life. Nevertheless, it is worthy to note that such recommendation is majorly predicated on the fact that the breast milk is filled with disease fighting substances that protect the baby from illness, and also maintain the health of the nursing mother. It’s not necessarily for learning skills.

Moreover, scientists tell us that infants learn best in a context of emotional closeness with an adult. This therefore speaks volume to Albert Bandura’s social learning theory. This is a theory that propounds that human beings can learn by observing, imitating and modelling his life according to the behaviour observed. This theory can be further established on the ground that human beings learn from their environment. Indications therefore emerge that man creates an environment which in turn creates and determines his uniqueness. In other words, man is both a benefactor and beneficiary of his surrounding conditions, natural and unnatural.

Against this backdrop, I wish to express the clarification that children are imitators, that is why they are able to imitate how their parents care for the little ones, how they cook, walk and talk, etc. More so, in an advanced form, they are able to observe the various talents of the adults and are able to model theirs to that level, hence they are called super kids, destined kids and so on. Following from the above, it therefore implies that the integral development of a child will be maximally determined by the nature of the environment that he or she is exposed to. In addition to the environmental factor, Parents should also develop interest on the cognitive development of their children (that is the different stages in their learning process). Experiments confirm that before the age of two, an infant’s sense organs are very active and detective to explore his or her world, and between 2-4 years, the child begins to develop his or her vocabulary from names frequently mentioned in the environment. Further research reveals that as early as 4 years those things which the child was ascribing names to, will start to make sense and meaning to him or her.

In conclusion, I therefore encourage every parent or adult care giver to know when a child is in what Vygostky would call “the zone of proximate development” that is the period when a person learns most and at best. This will create an enabling environment for the parents to know how to follow a child and what a child should be exposed to, at each point in time.

TRAIN A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO, AND WHEN HE IS OLD, HE WILL NOT TURN FROM IT (PROV.22:6)

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