Early experiences matter

Early experiences matter: why is a good childhood so important?

By Jacqueline Harding, Parent Channel TV

Jacqueline Harding, Parent Channel TV

Jacqueline Harding, Parent Channel TV

A good childhood gets into our bones; it forms us; it prepares us for adulthood. It

acts like the foundation for a solid building.

When babies come into the world they are ready and equipped to make

relationships with others. It seems that there is a biological urge for them to

make human connection. In fact, it really does equate to survival. Research tells

us that developmentally speaking babies and children need warm and loving

relationships. Without loving warm relationships, children find it very hard to be

empathetic, to make friends and to be an integrated member of the community.

It maters how they are spoken to; how their needs are met; how they are

responded to when they cry. We know now that the young brain literally lights

up when a caregiver gives them what they need: attention.

Why is childhood so important?

Why is childhood so important? Photo courtesy of Huepix photos

Emotional development is critical. It’s tempting to think that education is the

main factor when it comes to achievement in later life. But that’s simply not true.

The defining factor is emotional and social competence and, childhood should

offer bucket loads of supportive emotional structure so that the childhood

foundations are strong.

Early experiences matter. Childhood matters and babies and children need to

know that they matter; they count; they have worth. Human contact and

especially face‐to ‐face contact is essential for wellbeing. We simply can’t

function properly in society without experiencing positive interactions with


Foster carers and adoptive parents have an eye on the child’s future. They

understand that they are putting in the foundations and helping to build a strong

start to the child’s life. It’s quite simply about making everyday count because a

child’s future will count on it.

We do not remember days, we remember moments (Cesare Pavese, 1908‐1950).

Childhood matters. Adoption matters.

Author: Features Editor

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