The First 7 Years of Childhood

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The first 7 Years of Childhood

The First 7 Years of Childhood are crucial, once lost they never come back and the path to recovery can be a long one. There is a lot of information on the internet about parenting in general but very few talk about the prerequisite which plays a major factor in upbringing of children. That major factor is to be in the right mindset as a parent. Personally for me this was THE biggest and most difficult one to implement, still is to be honest.

Children learn from anything and everything they see They learn wherever they are,not just in special learning places- John Holt

To be in the right mindset for your child’s upbringing you need to have a good look at your own personality. Children absorb a lot of influence from the environment they live in. If you shout at your child then please don’t be surprised when you see them replicating this behavior. It comes naturally to them as children observe and absorb. In short, to be in the right mindset you need to reform yourself. Simply put, practice what you preach.

As parents we must make sure there is no conflict in the values we preach to our children and what we practice ourselves in reality. We must be the living example of what we want to teach them.

Once you do that only then you will be in the right mindset to connect with your children and will notice a remarkable shift in their behavior. During these first 7 years of childhood bonding with them would be smooth ensuring more trust, confidence and bonding between you and the kids.

If you are struggling with this, read our simple tips on How to Practice what you Preach?

The First 7 Years of Childhood

It is very important that during the first 7 years of childhood we connect with our children, give them time and love them as much as we can. Spend time bonding with your children and silently observe areas of their strengths and weaknesses. It is not as difficult and we have a few ideas on How to bond with your child? which we will share soon.

If you observe your children closely you would be able to find their passion, strength, personality and weaknesses during these first 7 years of childhood and that would give you the direction you need to teach them in the second stage i.e. the next 7 years of their lives.

Here are some useful tips which worked for us and may be of help to you.

Avoid Distractions

In the digital age catching up with the sheer pace of technological advances is hard enough let alone analyzing the adverse effects it has on both, children and parents.

Parents must be mindful that while technology can play a productive role, the delicate balance must be kept to avoid overuse. The majority of the parents with whom we had a discussion with had routines with very little focus and time allotted for their children. The free time parents had was either being spent on social media in endless browsing or spent flipping channels on Cable TV. Kids on the other hand were being handled by maids, watching unfiltered cartoons or spending time on an IPAD with unrestricted access to the internet. Super Dangerous!

It is a matter of great concern and we must stop, introspect and ask ourselves “where are we heading?” and “what sort of upbringing are we doing?” Check out some of the statistics on ADHD, teen depression, suicide rate in kids below and you will know exactly how alarming the situation is.

  • First 7 Years of Childhood and Percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD by Gender
  • First 7 Years of Childhood and Percentage of Students who felt Sad or Hopeless by Gender
First 7 Years of Childhood and Suicide Rates

Be Emotionally Available

You need to be emotionally available for your children and avoid distracted attention. When interacting with our children we should try to avoid the use of smart phone or other electronic devices and give them full attention.

Are we emotionally available? I raise my hand in guilt and admit “No I haven’t” and with this mistake I have struggled over and over again. As a computer engineer I have to be on my phone or laptop during the day and especially since I am trying to transition to a full time work at home dad working double time is tough. I share this because you might be in a similar situation. As a remedy I try and put my phone away when I am with my children and if there is an important thing I need to attend to I excuse myself and shift rooms. Still struggling though 🙁

Introduce the Thirst to seek Knowledge

When children grow older usually the age when formal studies begin we parents often struggle to make them study and it is difficult then. One of my teachers taught me a very valuable lesson and I would really really want parents to think about it and consider this advice.

During the first 7 years of childhood try to inculcate the thirst for knowledge in your children instead of worrying about teaching them to read or write early on. In the later stages of life you will see your children will run to acquaint themselves with knowledge.A Wise Teacher

Following this advice will ensure that the drive to seek and learn comes from within, parents would not need to use force or convince children with difficulty.

In their quest to seek knowledge they would themselves look for:

  • Mentors
  • Consult books
  • Research the internet
  • Other available resources

Such methodology would make them independent, confident learners and best of all they are happy while learning.

Natural Play time

We noticed nature really soothes children and this one is coming from personal experience. Whenever our kids would get cranky or overwhelmed nature time would always work wonders. My wife would simply take them to a park or involve them in an activity which would get their hands dirty, kids love that. At times we get them to play in the mud in our backlawn or help around in planting flowers, fruits and vegetables. They dig, plant, jump and run around which helps them be happy. Scientifically this develops a child’s brain and gets rid of toxin stress.

I strongly encourage you to try this and you will notice better results academically, socially and cognitively.

Engage with them on Advanced Topics

I would definitely recommend you read the book by John Taylor Gatto named “Dumbing us Down. Children are more intelligent than we think, we dumb them down by exposing them to material which decreases intelligence.

We started using encyclopedias with the kids and were quite amazed, our children were so engrossed, more interested and had tons of interesting questions about stuff. Quite frankly we weren’t even prepared more often than we thought we had to read to answer their burning questions. If they are asking questions you must encourage them as this will increase their quest to becoming independent learners.

Another family we know of is following the same methodology and their 6 year old loves to discuss quantum physics, I know that’s a little hard to grasp but believe me you can bring out the genius in your child and the sooner you realize it the better.

Discussions about life around them

Ask them about life what they think? Let them observe plants, insects and animals around them. It will amaze you how much children learn from nature. There are so many discussions you could spark with your children which can lead to more advanced topics. You could also compliment this with a good documentary on the subject rather than useless meaningless cartoons. This makes learning fun for the parents as well as the children.

You must go through our list of recommended documentaries for kids, I will update as we watch.

Assign them Responsibilities

This trick really worked well for us. Once Abzy made our bed to surprise us it gave us an idea, we thought of assigning our kids with small doable tasks on a daily basis.

We started with giving Abzy the responsibility to make beds when he wakes up. At first it wasn’t perfect but we never criticized him harshly, we encouraged and he is slowly becoming an expert. After sunset our younger daughter Yati (4.5 years old) is given the task to cover the windows with the curtains. At times she forgets, sometimes we remind her and there are times she isn’t in the mood which is not a problem. The point is to assign them small tasks so that there is a sense of responsibility and consistency. More complex age appropriate tasks can be assigned as they grow up.

Listen to this advice from an admiral posted by Business Insider:

There are lots of interesting ideas that we have and would share them in upcoming articles.

We would love to hear from you regarding your children’s first 7 years of childhood. Let us know in the comments below how you are spending these important wonderful years.

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