7-Year-Old Drops Truth Bomb For Parents And Gets Over A Million ViewsWhat your child wants is you, not toys.by Dahl D. Bennett .
What is the best way to educate adults about parenting and make them really listen? Why, get a child to speak.
This is what happened at a TED X talk recently when it got seven-year-old Molly Wright to speak to an audience for the Thrive-by-Five campaign of Australia. The campaign specifically calls for ‘universal access to a high-quality, affordable early learning system.’
From the very beginning of her talk, Molly got the audience hooked by telling them that ‘a game of peekaboo can change the world.’ She proceeded to say that there are some powerful things that grown-ups do to shape the lives of children like her and Ari, her one-year-old friend who was seated on a high chair beside Molly at the Ted X talk.
Early and often
Molly emphasized on the importance of giving the right caring “as early and as often” as when the baby is still in the womb. “Thanks to scientists, we now know just how important the first five years are for our health and development, especially our brains,” she opens.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Citing her friend Ari as example, she explained that even before he was born, he started learning “from inside his mommy’s tummy.” By being given the right child care, Ari has turned into a child with a happy and healthy disposition.
The first five years is when the baby’s brain begins to grow significantly that by the time they turn seven like Molly, it would have grown 90% the volume of an adult brain.
“Our brains develop faster in our early years than at any other time in our lives. It can create up to one million neural connections every second,” she says.
Serve and return
To ensure that a child reaches their full potential throughout this crucial period, there are five things they would need from parents.
- Providing a healthy home
- Belonging to a community
For parents to meet all five, they need to do what scientists call "serve and return."
In a video that showed Baby Ari playing with his father, Amarjot, Molly explained how games contribute to a child’s development.
“Copycat games build imagination and empathy. Naming games build vocabulary and attention. And games like peekabo — yep, peekaboo — actually build memory and trust,” she says.
She further expounded how all these games contribute to a child’s life skills that he can rely on when he grows up. “Each time you talk to us, play with us, make us laugh, it not only builds and strengthens our relationships and mental health, it actually teaches us some of the most important life skills, from making friends to taking the test, to getting a job, to one day maybe even starting a family of our own,” she says.CONTINUE READING BELOWRecommended Videos
“Interactions early and often matter. Take it from me, the seven-year-old up here talking about brain science,” she pointed out.
Children crave for your attention
In driving the point of just how hardwired children are for meaningful connections, Molly shows a video of Ari’s Dad absorbed in a gadget while Baby Ari began to show restlessness, wanting his Dad’s attention once more so they can continue playing. “Not receiving (attention) causes confusion and stress,” explains Molly.
She then asked the audience, “What if our whole childhood was like that last 30 seconds?” She explains how hard it would be for a child to feel calm, to feel safe, to learn to trust anyone and what the lifelong impact such actions would have.
“That makes me feel sad,” Molly says. “Ari only reacted the way he did and recovered so quickly because the connection between him and his dad is usually so strong. The positive relationships with the grown-ups in our lives gives kids the confidence we need to try new things, to explore and be a kid,” she stresses.
The importance of the first five years
In closing her talk, Molly reminds the adults in the audience to take advantage of the first five years, starting from inside mommy’s tummy and refers to these years as ‘the most special period for our development.’
What’s something really impactful you can do? Serve and return. And when? Early and often,” she reiterates.
Watch this highly impactful talk from a seven-year-old and see how it resonates with your own parenting.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Click here to know how distracted parenting hurts your kids.
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