What are Some Core Concepts of Childhood Development?
Do you view your child as an awesome and amazing creation of God? You should.
How do you view your child?
Do you think of your little one as your mini-me? Perhaps you see him as a tiny adult in need of education? Maybe you consider her as a someone who needs so much time, attention and costs so much to maintain? Or you think first and foremost that your child is a little sinner who needs training and punishment to make him into a well-behaved person? If you were to ask your friends, peers, relatives or others how they look upon their child you would undoubtedly hear many different perspectives.
However, the Bible tells us the story of humanity’s origins, which has much to say to us who are parents. The Bible starts with God’s incredible and beautiful work of creation. In five days God created everything in the universe and all that is earth. God’s creation declares the glory of God. On the sixth day, God made the human creature, a very special creature that reflects the glory of God. The man and woman model and mirror God. As a special creature, you are the visible representation and manifestation of God on earth. So is your child. God starts with this incredible fact and this is the first thing we should think about when we think of our child. He or she is an awesome and amazing creation of God.
In what ways? What does this mean?
Your son or daughter is very special to God. S/he is unique, has dignity and value and is worthy of respect. God has certain attributes that are given to your little one who is made in his image. Here is an overview of what they are:
God is a Spirit – Your child is spiritual. S/he has a soul and has the spiritual ability to relate with and know God.
God is Triune – God is One but with three persons. They are in unity with each other but they are also a perfect community of intimate relationships. Your child is made for relationships and community.
God is personal – Each child is an individual and unique person.
God is All-knowing - Your child was made to be an inquisitive scientist to know truth, gain knowledge, and acquire wisdom.
God is Morally Pure - Your son or daughter was created to be holy, act justly, and live righteously.
God is All-powerful - Your child is given the executive ability to do things.
God is Love - You young one thrives on love and has a great capacity to love God and to love others.
Value your child and treat him or her with great respect
Since God sees your son or daughter as an awesome, amazing creature he has specially made in order to model and reflect who he is, then this ought to be our starting point when we think about our child.
Think about it
Consider the implications of this biblical truth for you as a parent. What difference can this make or will this make in your relationship with you child?
Need Help Changing Your Perspective?
Click here to make contact. We are here to help!
DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO PLAY? JUST. PLAY?
There is a lack and serious need for wholesome play in childhood.
On August 1, 1966, the day Dr. Stuart Brown started his assistant professorship at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 25-year-old Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the University of Texas Tower on the Austin campus and shot 46 people.
Whitman, an engineering student and a former U.S. Marine sharpshooter, was the last person anyone expected to go on a killing spree.
After Brown was assigned as the state’s consulting psychiatrist to investigate the incident and later, when he interviewed 26 convicted Texas murderers for a small pilot study, he discovered that most of the killers, including Whitman, shared two things in common: they were from abusive families, and they didn’t play as kids.
Brown did not know which factor was more important. But in the 42 years since, he has interviewed some 6,000 people about their childhoods, and his data suggest that a lack of opportunities for unstructured, imaginative play can keep children from growing into happy, well-adjusted adults.
“Free play,” as scientists call it, is critical for becoming socially adept, coping with stress, and building cognitive skills such as problem-solving. (source)
Report this ad
SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE VALUE OF PLAY?
It’s terribly sad the old-fashioned notion of summer as endless free time – to climb trees, pick blackberries, chase fireflies, build a fort, or make popsicles – is just a distant memory for most. It’s what children need – they need it far more than they need a high-priced summer camp, dance lessons, or some program aimed at cramming a little bit more learning into their exhausted brains.
For play skeptics, experiments conducted by the Early Childhood Cognition Lab in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) show children calculating probabilities during play, developing assumptions about their physical environment, and adjusting perceptions according to the direction of authority figures. Other researchers are also discovering a breathtaking depth to play: how it develops chronological awareness and its link to language development and self-control.
I keep reading the statistics about how kids are spending less time playing, NO recess in schools, and about how they are spending more time seated at a desk or in a car or doing homework after being in school all day. Over the last three decades, children have lost 8 hours of free, unstructured, and spontaneous play a week.
Spending more time in front of the TV, with their electronic device, or over-scheduled with less time in wholesome play in side or out,is changing kids’ cognitive, creative, and emotional development. We know that children’s capacity for self-regulation—their ability to control their emotions and behavior and to resist impulses—is much worse than it was 60 years ago. In one study, today’s 5-year-olds had the self-regulation capability of a 3-year-old in the 1940s, and today’s 7-year-old barely approached the level of a 5-year-old 60 years ago.
Many parents suppose that creativity and the ability to control oneself is an inherited predisposition in a child – either they were born with or born without it. But actually, creativity and self-governance are learned skills rather than inborn traits or talents, and they are skills parents can help their kids develop through early years of play.
Simple, everyday things can make all the difference in a child’s development.
(a throwback to our earlier homeschool years…and yes, our children took some risks -some I knew about and some I didn’t!)
HUGE BENEFITS TO FREE PLAY
- Ability to observe, problem solve, and understand connections = greater understanding
- Learn acceptable ways to handle difficulty and challenges = greater measures of self control (competency)
- Helps children learn how to work in groups, share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, regulate their emotions and behavior, and speak-up for themselves = greater self-governance (learning to say no to oneself) and less frustration
- Develops productive citizens (builders, solid mates and parents, communicators, scientists, writers, artists, engineers, leaders) needed for a successful society
“Neuroscientists, developmental biologists, and researchers from every point of the scientific compass now know that play is a profound biological process,” says Stuart Brown, a leading play researcher and author. “Play fosters empathy in kids, and lies at the very heart of creativity and innovation. And the ability to play has a profound effect on our outlook on life.”
Reading out-loud – sometimes a couple of hours a day – provides lots of food for children’s imagination, jump-starting play. Children are absorbent sponges and imitators, so make the content the BEST!
- 100+ Whole-Hearted Books To Fight Back the Culture
- 60 Titles For The Well-Rounded Children’s Bookshelf
2. IMAGINATIVE PLAY AND DRESS-UP
From knights and cowboys to princesses and brides, children have been pretending practically forever. Dressing up in old clothes, hats, capes, and swords from Goodwill or Salvation Army offer them with lots of tools for acting out the stories that inspire their hearts. Parents should keep their eyes open but only interrupt if necessary to guide or redirect play. Children’s play will likely be innocent unless they have witnessed inappropriate things.
3. FEWER TOYS – ONES THAT DON’T DO MUCH ON THEIR OWN
Best: big (appliance-sized) cardboard boxes, blocks, a small wading pool (also used to clean after sandbox, dirt, mud puddles, painting), a sprinkler, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, puppets, a wagon, couch cushions, sheets, cardboard table for playhouse, clothesline to make a tent with sheets, empty kitchen base cabinet (doubles as a ‘house’) that has a children’s cooking set and dishes near where you you cook, manipulatives and sensory bins, Etch-A-Sketch, old costumes, props, scrap lumber (nails and hammer), a hatchet, scraps of fabric and a sewing machine, camera not tied to internet, journal, etc.
TOYS FOR FREE PLAY:
- Magnetic tiles building set
Wooden blocks: Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Solid-Wood Building Blocks With Wooden Storage Tray (60 pcs)
- The Fort Magic Kit (354 Pc long flexible tubes and connectors)
- Marble run
- Legos (we found much of our extras at garage sales) – again multiplied hours learning without knowing it!
- LEGO Yellow Submarine
- Wooden Train Track compatible with major brands including Thomas
- Lego Creator Space Shuttle Explorer
- Engineering Building Blocks
- 12 Pc Wooden Engines & Train Cars Compatible with Thomas Wooden Railway
- Jumbo Extra-Thick Cardboard Building Blocks
More toys for open-ended play worth owning.
4. GET OUTDOORS (IF AT ALL POSSIBLE)
Children (and adults) need time to listen to the wind whistle in the leaves, birds, a warm rain on their faces, or simply feel the warmth of the sun on their shoulders with a good book. Time to swing real high for the sheer joy of it and to explore God’s creation in all its grandeur. They’ll be surprised at what goes on in the world!
WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD
In Why Kids Need Unstructured Play, Madeline Levine makes a very strong case:
Kids who have no down time and no time for unstructured play never get to know themselves. They know only who others tell them they are. If they don’t have that they will be always looking for external direction and validation. Getting to know oneself takes time and emotional energy, and when all that is spent trying to get a leg up on an academic career, or become the best soccer player on the field, there is no time left for the internal work of whole-child development.
WHEN I GROW UP BY JIM DALY, ONE OF MY FAVORITE ARTISTS.
Learning who you are takes place not in the act of doing but in the quiet spaces between things. The more of these quiet spaces you can provide your children, the better.
Many young people today have never experienced the gift of a carefree early childhood and as parents one day (without turning to God for answers) will not be able to supply it to their own children. It only takes one, possibly two generations for the wonderful old ways of bringing up children to be lost.
Pin It! Pin It!
Thanks for reading!
October 20, 2016
March 19, 2013
February 20, 2018