The most powerful TED talk I’ve watched, was given by a 7 year old…
Molly Wright makes her way across the TED stage and begins…
Molly is not your typical 7 year old.
She is a prime example of what happens when a child’s brain development is nurtured through the early years.
Not only is she a prime example, she’s also an advocate for healthy childhood development.
I learned more from this 7 year old in 7 minutes, than I did reading over 100 books (written by adults) about children and their brains.
When kids are exposed to things like…
- A Healthy Home
- A Sense of Community
… it contributes positively to their development.
Connecting with our family and community builds and strengthens relationships, encourages trust, promotes positive mental health, and teaches life skills.
I’m sure we can wait until kids are older to start teaching them these skills though, right?
So… When should we be connecting, playing and talking to our kids?
#1. First 5 Years!
Molly reminds us that these years of a child’s life are the most CRUCIAL years in their development.
Brains grow faster in the first 5 years than they do the rest of our lives. By the time kids are 7 years old, their brains have grown to 90% the size of an adults’ brain.
Do not underestimate those first 5 years…
So… What should we be doing those first 5 years?
#2. Serve and Return!
This is Molly’s scientific way of saying… CONNECT! TALK! PLAY!
Children’s mirror neurons are on alert! They learn through connecting and interacting with the adults they trust. Making eye contact and playing games with your child (yes, like peekaboo), are important for their development and for their learning!
So… How often should we be playing games like peekaboo?
#3. Early and Often!
Molly reinforces that we need to be playing these games and connecting with our child as often as we can, and as early as we can!!
Even a 1 year old is aware of the broken connection when our attention is diverted.
Diverted to technology… To our devices…
What would happen if we were distracted by our devices all the time?
When children are not receiving the positive interactions they need for healthy brain development, childhood becomes stressful – even traumatic.
It is harder for children to feel safe, to trust, and to regulate without connection…
Kids NEED positive relationships.
They need connection, to be spoken to, and played with.
They need a healthy and safe home.
To feel a part of a community.
And YOU have the opportunity to give them that.
So, thanks, Molly Wright (the smartest 7 year old I know), for reminding us that a game of peekaboo has the capacity to change the world…
Go do yourselves a favour and watch Molly speak right here!
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!