The Growing Child Team know just how important you are in your young child’s learning.  But do you know?  Sometimes when we think of our children’s learning we think this is something that they will start doing when they go to pre-school or primary school.  Well we here at Lifestart have a wee fact that just may shock you!  If you add up all the time your child will spend in school from ages 4 up to 18 it actually accounts for less than 15% of their time.

So what might you ask, happens in the other 85% of their time?  Okay part of it is spent sleeping.  But the remainder of this time is spent learning from us.  A child’s brain is like a huge sponge soaking up absolutely everything around them.  They are learning so much from us!  Mums, dads, grandparents you are educators.  You are your children’s first teachers and until they go to school you are their most important teachers. And this remains the case for quite some time – even when at school!

Everything we do here at Lifestart is backed up by the latest research. We know the importance of positive parent-child interactions especially in the first three years.  This is when our children’s brains grow the most! Not when they go to school.  So positive interactions are vital for our children’s brain development.  These interactions also play a huge part on your child’s success later on in school.

Families are different! However, for this blog we are going to look at research that examines the impact of types of interactions that dads and mums have in a young child’s learning and how this helps with school life later on.

A study on the interactions of dads (or significant males) with their young children found they do well if dad:

  • Sets aside a regular special time to be with their child.
  • Is involved in their child’s play and shows an interest in their activities.
  • Listens and talks to their child, and responds to any questions they ask.
  • Shows an interest when their child attends playschool or nursery.
  • Dads who communicate with pre-school teachers have a positive impact on children’s development.

A study on behaviours of mums (or significant females) in the early years found the following important for their child’s success later in school.

  • A warm and loving mother-child relationship
  • Good two-way communication
  • Positive and realistic expectations for achievement
  • Use rule-based, rather than authority-based discipline in the home

Another study found the most important thing is that parents are actively involved in their child’s learning and education.  But it is in the early years that we as parents play an important role in developing our children’s attitudes to learning.  I hope this makes you feel good about what you are doing at home, especially all you out there who are familiar with the work of Lifestart.

For those of you who are not familiar, we have some good news.  Over the coming weeks we will be sharing our month by month tips for your child’s develop on our Facebook pages so please follow us to get these fabulous resources. It is good to know that all the positive work you are now doing with your little one will make such a wonderful difference when they go to school.  Keep up the amazing work.  Home schooling, sure aren’t we home schooling all the time!  Check out here for Lifestart Facebook Page and here for Shaping Ourselves and Our Children Facebook Page.