Did you know 90% of your child’s brain development takes place by age 6! We all know DHA is an important part of this development, but what does it actually do? DHA is a major building block of the brain which is found in high levels in the brain and eyes. It is an important polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that the body needs to function. They are also a source of energy, can be anti-inflammatory, and support a child’s development. To support your child’s brain development and function, an adequate daily intake of the DHA should be included in a balanced diet. Oily cold water fish and seafood are rich natural sources of DHA and EPA. Plant sources contain little or no DHA and EPA but may contain ALA. ALA can be turned into DHA in the body, but the rate this happens at is only 1-5%.It can be challenging for picky eaters and vegetarians to get their adequate daily intake of DHA from diet alone. You may consider a diet supplement for your child to ensure they get the DHA they need to support their brain development and function.
Speech & Development
Speech and Language are often used interchangeably, which is incorrect. There is a difference between the two. Speech is the ability of humans to produce specific sounds to communicate with other humans. Language is a set of well-accepted rules created by humans to express their thoughts and emotions to others so that they are understood. Language includes talking, writing, and using sign language. Speech allows a person to orally express language.
Infants start communicating in the early days of their lives. They learn how to make sounds like crying, cooing and gurgling. They realize that certain sounds will get them what they want. For example, they learn that crying will get them food and comfort. At this point they also start making sense of and recognizing certain specific sounds like their mother's voice. As they grow older, they are able to recognize speech sounds (phonemes) that make up words of their mother tongue.
As the jaw, lips, tongue, and voice develop, a child is able to convert unintelligible babbling sounds into more controlled ones.
Importance of Playing
Just like a job is an adult's work, play is a child's work. It is as important as walking, talking, and sleeping. Playing allows a child to freely explore, experiment and make sense of the world around him. It is not only fun but it also helps them learn new skills, solve problems, overcome challenges, be creative, and form relationships. Unfortunately these days, the concept of free play is dying out. Children (even toddlers) spend a vast majority of their free time in structured classes and the rest of their time watching television or playing with electronic gizmos.
Play stimulates Imagination and Cognitive Development
Role-play and pretend play are very important for a child's creative and cognitive development. By dressing up as a superhero or a policeman and conjuring up scenarios, a child experiments with different identities and different situations. He not only uses his vivid imagination to come up with ideas but also uses his cognitive skills to negotiate with imaginary characters and solve problems when the 'pretend' situation requires him to.
Daydreaming & Fantasy
Why do children perpetually live in a world of their own making - a world that is both fantastic and unreal? Why do they constantly create imaginary universes with their own set of characters and societal rules?
For years, psychologists have been trying to understand this tendency but have failed to give one definite reason for it. There have been not one but many and varied explanations with the result that some say fantasy is bad and some say that it's good. There has been no consensus on the true reason or reasons. No research has proven that imagination and fantasy are therapeutic for children just as no research has shown that they are bad for them.
Children begin dreaming sometime in the first year of their life. Young children have a limited ability to distinguish dreams from reality or fantasy until they approach school age. Through childhood and adolescence, children's dreams tend to reflect representations of typical developmental issues, wish fulfilment themes, and environmental stimuli.
The Contrary world of a child Have you ever felt like tearing your hair out when your child vacillates between 'yes' and 'no?' Shivani, a mother of two, says, All the time! My 3-year-old son can't make simple decisions, let alone slightly complex ones. He'll want toast for breakfast and when I get him the toast, he'll want cereal. When that is brought to him, he'll want a third item or sometimes even go back to the first one. It is really frustrating! At times, when I get really irritated, I just refuse to give him anything and he just dissolves into tears.
This is a phenomenon faced by nearly all parents. Is a child trying to drive his mother crazy by saying yes, no, or maybe or is he being indecisive? It's neither. This is normal for toddlers as they are still developing a sense of self and individuality. By the time a child reaches the age of two - he starts craving for control and sometimes this need comes out as contrariness. He will sense what his parent wants and then decide not to do it or do the opposite. He is also too young to be sure about what he wants and this leads to the 'yeses' and 'nos.'