The team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania released the results of a long-term study proving that warm parental nurturance by the age of four is a critical factor for child’s brain development.
What exactly did “the parental nurturance” mean? It consisted of two components:
- warmth and affection (holding child close 10–15 min per day, conversation with children)
- acceptance (not scolding, derogating, slapping, or spanking children).
The more parental care was given to the child at age of four, the thinner their cortex, i.e. the more developed the brain, was by adolescence. The association between the brain development and parental nurturance disappears at age 8, which does not means that you can stop loving your child, but means that you should be especially attentive in their early age.
In contrast, environmental stimulation did not provide the same exceptional results as the parental care. By environmental stimulation the researches meant learning stimulation (like color-teaching toys), language stimulation (names-teaching toys and correct grammar and pronunciation used by parents), academic stimulation (encouraging the child to learn), modelling (delay of food gratiﬁcation and introducing visitors to the child), and variety of experience (like having musical instruments. The researchers did not dare to say that all those great things make no sense, but they produced enough evidence to attest that warm parental nurturance is much more important.
And you may have guessed that another name for “the parental nurturance” is just love, though love which active and attentive.