The Early Childhood Years Matter
Early childhood experiences matter. Whether positive or negative, both big events and small daily happenings impact our lifelong mental health and physical well-being. Early childhood adversities, for instance, can weaken the immune system, increase vulnerability to mental illness, and can present challenges in peer relationships. Unfortunately, children do not grow out of concerning behaviors or struggles in development. Early intervention can help create the strong foundation that kids need.
Responsive parent-child relationships and positive experiences can serve as a buffer to the stressors that children experience. This ensures healthy brain development and creates the foundation for lifelong resilience.
Children of all ages – including babies – experience stress and a variety of emotions. Even if they can’t verbalize their feelings, children will show us how they are doing. They do so through their interactions with others (e.g. during play), their eating and sleeping habits, and how they manage their behavior and emotions. They need a caregiver or reliable adult to be their partner in learning how to manage stress and difficult feelings. The stress that parents experience and role model for their children directly impacts children in how they cope with stress. Here is a video from the Harvard Center for the Developing Child, top researchers in early childhood development, explaining the importance of improving children’s early experiences in life.
Parenting can be joyful but also challenging and stressful. Although perfect parenting isn’t possible, we can learn to become better parents. We at Interfaith want to support you in becoming the best parent you can be, especially during the early childhood years.
We want to support you in understanding your child’s behavior and your own feelings or stressors as a parent. We also want to answer your questions regarding how to best support your child’s development.
Caring for Kids (CFK) Offers Important Services to Interfaith Clients
If you are interested in learning more, or receiving support as a parent or caregiver, we are expanding our resources to all Interfaith parents who are pregnant and/or have kids ages through age 5.
Reach out to Debi, Early Childhood Mental Health Practitioner to receive one-on-one support either in your home, or in the community. Sign up here to receive a call from Debi to learn more.
Join our free Family Gatherings starting November 10th where we will meet weekly for six weeks. In each 1.5 hour session, we provide a meal for you and your kids (up to age 5), discuss different weekly parenting topics, and give children an opportunity for supervised playtime.