There is a new resource for parents of young children. Called, “Reno Parents Connect,” It’s a new resource for parents in the Reno County area. The focus is helping parents and caregivers form strong bonds with little ones. The website and Facebook page include parenting tips, information about local activities, and ways for parents and other caregivers to find assistance if needed.
Three activities that positively impact children for the rest of their lives are to Eat, Play and Read with parents. These help create an attachment that makes a child feel secure and comfortable in the world. Having these positive early experiences help the child’s brain develop in a way that increases intelligence. About 85% of the core structure of the brain develops in the first three years of life.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Early brain and child development research unequivocally demonstrates that human development is powerfully affected by contextual surroundings and experiences. A child’s day-to-day experiences affect the structural and functional development of his or her brain, including intelligence and personality. Experiences influence every child’s development and learning, and these experiences can be positive or negative, with long-term consequences for the child, family, and society.”
Children who eat with their families reap benefits throughout their lives, and it’s great to start the tradition early. Let children who are a bit older help with the preparation to share time with them and foster a sense of accomplishment. Family meals offer not only nourishment, but comfort and support as well. When children feel supported at home, they go into the world able to meet the challenges of life.
When children are playing, they’re really learning. During playtime they develop the social skills needed to interact with other children and with adults. Playtime can also build the imagination and help with physical development. When parents play with children, they have an opportunity to help build these skills.
It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Children develop an awareness of language long before they can read. Language development is critical to all areas of learning, and young children who are read to regularly have a large vocabulary. They’re on a path to academic success before they ever start school.
Reno Parents Connect encourages families to eat, play and read together to create the strong bonds that positively impact children for the rest of their lives. It is the local hub for parents with little ones, and is the result of a coalition of local organizations devoted to improving early childhood. Find more information, including free screenings, at facebook.com/renoparentsconnect or www.renoparentsconnect.org.
Early Childhood Facts
85% of the core structure of the brain develops in the first three years of life
Early experiences that are nurturing, active and challenging create a brain with more sophisticated neuron structures that determine intelligence and behavior
Children’s vocabulary use at age three is a strong predictor of language skill and reading comprehension at age 9-10.
New kindergartners who were read to at least three times a week as tots were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent of literacy tests than children who were read to less than three times a week.
Between one quarter and one third of young children are perceived as not being ready to succeed in school.
Children who are identified as having challenging behavior or being hard to manage at ages 3 and 4 have a 50:50 probability of continuing to have difficulties into adolescence.
The day care expulsion rate is higher than that in school
Children who are entering kindergarten and have healthy development are:
Able to understand and talk about his/her own feelings
Understands the perspective of others and realizes that their feelings may be different from his/her own feelings
Able to establish relationships with adults and maintains an ongoing friendship with at least one other child
Able to enter a group successfully
Able to engage in and stay with an activity for a reasonable amount of time with minimal adult
How do parents foster these skills and a secure attachment?
Be responsive, be in charge, be kind and loving, and have meaningfully interaction and communication.
Free screenings are available to parents and caregivers. Make arrangements by calling 620-931-8505 or one of the other partners listed at renoparentsconnect.org
Connect through facebook.com/renoparentsconnect
Sign up for the monthly newsletter at renoparentsconnect.org.