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Opinions of Saturday, 17 January 2015

Columnist: Alhassan, Abdul Latif

Childhood: The Most Significant Period In Human Development

Written by:
Abdul Latif Alhassan
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If you have ever worked with children, you will realize that children are the most fascinating creatures in the history of the universe. Have you ever taken your time to observe or watch children play? Have you ever had a conversation with children? Parents and caregivers should know that, children have a very unique world of their own. Their world is so important to them. That is why they sometimes use all means including crying to get whatever they want.
It is the sole the responsibility of you as a parent or a caregiver to understand the world of your child. It is your responsibility to choose the world in which you want to groom your child. A psychologist and a theorist John Locke described children’s brain as “tabula Razza” or “blank slate” so; it is the duty of you as a parent to write on the blank slate. According to John Locke, writing anything on the blank slate is entirely the role of the environment, in which parents form a core part.
Other theorists view children as a garden of plants. In this case, it is responsibility of you as a parents or caregiver to decide what to grow on your garden. Taking good care of your garden or otherwise, is entirely the choice of parents.
Just as childhood development starts right at conception, training of your children starts right at conception. You may be astonished as to how the unborn child can be trained. Engaging in a lot of mental activities during pregnancy is a form of cognitive training for your unborn child. As a mother, when you are pregnant, you need not to be dull or lazy. You need to engage in a lot of reading and calculation to keep your brain active. Also, being in a good emotional state is a form of emotional training for your unborn child. When pregnant, do not pick a lot of quarrels with people and, do not get upset frequently, because an emotionally stable mother gives birth to an emotionally stable child. Talking to your unborn child is a form of pre natal training for your unborn child. How? As a pregnant mother, just put your hand on your belly and then speak soft words to your unborn child. Advise it to be of good behaviour, tell it to make it easy for you to carry it. Believe me; it listens as you talk to it. During pregnancy, a mother should bear in mind that, a healthy mother gives birth to a healthy child. The mother should be mindful of what she eats, because whatever the mother eats gets to the child through a code- like tube called placenta.
A psychologists John Broadus Watson asserted “….give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist. I might select ¬¬– doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant- chief and, yes, even a beggar- man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors” (J. B. Watson, 1930). To me, J. B. Watson was only hammering on the fact that parents /caregivers have a greater control in bringing up their children.
Parents and caregivers need to know that childhood is the most important period in human development. Human development specialists describe childhood as a critical period in life. They assert that problems that occur during childhood have affect on later development. Parents should know that the world of their children at this period is in their hands. They have greater control over children’s life, because they are the first environment of the children. Children who are frustrated during childhood development are likely to have a frustrated lifetime development. Parents and caregivers therefore need to handle the needs of their children with greater care.
Healthy childhood development is the sole responsibility of parents and caregivers.
Healthy Childhood Development, My Priority.
Thank you.
The writer studied B.sc (Psychology) at UCC, a service person at Savelugu Municipal Hospital.