American Psychologists Warning: From Birth To 3 Years Old

In the first few years of my child’s birth,I was very confused: what should I do in the early days of my child’s life?I bought a lot of picture books and art desk for my children. I will accompany him to study every day, although he still can’t understand it.

But I still have some guilty conscience. Will there be some things that should be done at this age, but I have not done it yet. Will the child lose the opportunity to develop?The anxiety of the old mother is well understood by everyone.

It is obviously not enough to meet me in the early morning classes.

Laura E.Berk

(Laura E.Berk)

Laura E. Burke, a well-known professor of psychology at Illinois State University.Who wrote the psychology authority textbook 《Development Through the Lifespan》.which is widely used by nearly 600 internationally renowned universities such as Harvard University.

This book just answers this question.

0-3 years old, skill development may not be important

Burke cited a lot of research in developmental psychology that she found:

0-3 years old

On the contrary, there is no research and evidence that there are critical periods of skill development in the first few years of life, such as reading, music, gymnastics, etc. After all, these skills depend on a lot of training.

Unrealistic expectations of the child can destroy the brain’s potential. Presenting children to things they are not ready to accept, such as training in letters and numbers, early learning courses, etc..that will also weaken children’s interest in learning.

Childhood is the sensitive period of language acquisition

From the late baby to the preschool.the language area in the brain has been very active.which is a period of rapid development of children’s language ability.

The concept of interactive development believes that language development is the interaction between intrinsic potential and environmental impact.

the parent's love

The surrounding environment is an important factor: the parent’s love, sensitive concerns, and the more vocabulary used, the more vocabulary the child learns.

What do parents do specifically?

  • Respond to their snoring in words even when they are still unable to speak.
  • Point to something and comment on it with the child
  • Play some social games like clapping, hiding cats, etc.
  • Always read books for children and talk about the contents of the book

These actions can provide children with a rich language environment. Such children can speak early and the vocabulary will develop rapidly.

Children with slow language development are more likely to have problems such as poor performance and lack of social skills.these children often have difficulty controlling their impulses.

a sense of security, determine whether the child trusts the world

According to Erikson’s theory of personality development.the most basic psychological conflict for a 0-1 year old child is basic trust VS distrust. The inner love and security of the child comes from a healthy attachment relationship.

baby and the mother

Freud also pointed out that the emotional connection between the baby and the mother is the basis of all future relationships.

However,A child with a secure attachment can quickly establish a safe base. They will believe that the world is beautiful and reassuring. The child’s confidence is sprouting.

What can parents do?

  • Sensitive parenting
  • Parents should respond to their children’s needs in a timely manner.
  • Provide stable and reliable care for children
  • Physical contact with the child
  • Hold the child gently, caress and kiss the child.
  • Participate in the activities of children and often watch them
  • At least once a day with your parents

Brain development requires daily rich stimulation

However,In the first few years of life, the brain’s plasticity is much greater than the later age.

Neurons stimulated by the surrounding environment form more synapses and establish a more sophisticated communication system. Neurons that are rarely stimulated will lose synapses.

Brain development

(Brain development occurs naturally under the daily stimulation experience.These children are happy to do activities that promote early brain development in outdoors. )

A study tracked children from the Romanian orphanage between 0-3 years.a half who were adopted by the family. It was found that although some babies received adequate nutrition. the lack of early stimulation led to poor cognitive impairment and damage to the child’s brain.

Similar studies have shown that placing a baby in a stimulus-suppressed welfare institution for six months to two years will permanently impede all aspects of psychological development.

What can provide a rich stimulus?

  • Parents gently touch, embrace and communicate with the child.
  • Give your child toys and daily activities of interest.
  • Such as playing hide and seek, bathing before going to bed, talking about villain and singing.
  • Going outdoors with your parents.
  • Like shopping malls, parks, etc.


In the book Burke cited some research:

However,Excessive early learning can also harm the brain, damage the neural circuits, and weaken the brain’s sensitivity to everyday experience.which is necessary for a healthy beginning of life.

We can see that Burke did not mention that children should go to school early. Instead, it emphasizes the company, care and interaction of children in daily life.


However,In the early days of your child’s life.learning does not come in the form of learning knowledge. More is in the form of enlightenment.

But Not learning more knowledge can make children better.but parental companionship and care can provide children with a healthier psychological foundation, faster cognitive, language development, and better brain development.

Reference: Laura E. Burke “Development Through the Lifespan”

Regardless of the economic conditions of the parents.a well-organized, stimulating physical environment and parental encouragement, participation and emotional input contribute to the development of language and intelligence for children aged 0-3.

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