Letting the child explore to prepare for life

Early childhood experiences influences brain development and helps to prepare the child for learning and life.

REGISTRATION FOR THE EVENT.

Dato’ Dr Lai Fong Hwa, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Island Hospital, Penang, in his public talk on ‘Neuroscience Updates for Early Childhood Education’ at the WOU main campus today, said that at birth, the child’s brain is packed with billions of neurons, which begin to form synapses or connections as the child experiences things in the environment.

“The brain is built over time from the bottom up, as they see and hear sounds. As mummy plays with the baby, the synapses start to grow more and more. The connections continue to form until to about 2 to 3 years old, and then pruning happens. The synapses that get pruned away in the brain are those that are not so much used by the child.”

EXPLAINING HOW THE BRAIN DEVELOPS.

He expressed concern that if a 1-2 year old is sent early to kindergarten to learn ABC, and this continues into preschool, there is the danger that the brain will prune away things unrelated to the writing of ABC. He stated that in the first few years of life, the brain forms more than 1 million new neuro-connections every second for different life functions like vision, hearing, language, higher cognitive functions, after which the ‘pruning’ process begins.

Dr Lai said a child may grow to be poor at socialising, interacting, or dealing with criticisms if one over-emphasises  academic results and forgets about social-emotional development.

DR LAI, WHO HAS IMPAIRED VISION, IS ASSISTED IN HIS PRESENTATION BY HIS WIFE, DATIN INDRANEE LIEW.

He highlighted the ‘Serve and Return’ relationship between children and parents which neuro-science research indicate impacts the brain developmental process. “If you let the child play iPad, watch TV, the brain isn’t developing as there is no connection. It must be two-way, like when the mother talks, smiles or plays with the child, there is serve and return, and connection happens.”

He stressed that children need supportive, caring relationships as most connections get built when the child is happy. However toxic stress like repeated abuse, neglect, unmet needs, extreme poverty and maternal depression can damage the baby’s developing brain.  “Playing is the best way to learn. Babies’ brains require stable, caring, interactive relationships with adults. Let them explore, see as many things as possible, like visiting the botanical gardens, zoo.”

MANY QUESTIONS WERE RAISED ON THE ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS FOR TEACHERS.

He also declared that the teacher/parent is important as they can only pass on the skills which they have learnt themselves. He listed 7 life skills every child must develop to succeed in life: focus and self-control; perspective taking; communicating; making connections; critical thinking; taking on challenges; and self-directed learning.

He shared that a game like ‘a,e,i,o,u’ can train the child’s brain to focus and control, thereby reducing negative episodes like temper tantrums. He also called for teachers and parents to be polite to the child since children learn to communicate by listening to what teachers and parents say.

GROUP PHOTO WITH THE 2 SPEAKERS. AT RIGHT, FOREGROUND, IS DEPUTY VICE CHANCELLOR (RESEARCH & OUTREACH) PROF DAVID NGO CHEK LING.

He concluded: “Kids must know that is alright to make mistakes and fail as otherwise they will not try new things. We should create a desire in the child to learn new things; then it stays with them for life.”

 

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 × 2 =

On Key

Related Posts

Selva
Posted by Selva
December 6, 2022

WOU gives back: Solidarity in fighting cancer

The passion for volunteerism and philanthropic spirit is...

Read More
Peng Lin
Posted by Peng Lin
December 5, 2022

Grad remembers a dear father

As with any graduates, Deanmozhi Seetha Pathi was...

Read More
Selva
Posted by Selva
December 1, 2022

Over 1,100 graduates at WOU’s 13th convocation ceremony

The University had the highest number of graduating...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 30, 2022

Animal Interactions Put Smiles on Children’s Faces

With the exception of trips to the zoo,...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 25, 2022

Primary students master Word Problems the visual way

For many pupils, solving mathematical word problems is...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 24, 2022
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 22, 2022
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 2, 2022

An Approach to Understanding Current Issues and Philosophy

In addition to knowledge and abilities, the most...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
October 28, 2022

Students at WOU Strive for Every Child's Happiness

Passion and commitment can make a significant difference...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
October 18, 2022

Take steps to minimise impact and survive current supply chain disruption

Companies must strategise to minimise the impact to...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
September 13, 2022

Hypnotherapy Course Has Broadened Horizons of Graduates

The clinical hypnotherapy community consists of students, graduates,...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
September 13, 2022

Endless Support in a Diverse Community at WOU

The university values diversity and welcomes all students...

Read More
We use cookies to give you the best experience.