News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Spending time supports child’s brain development

WellChild News Release 23.02.07

Spending time supports children’s brain development


Leading paediatricians say giving children time is especially important for growth and development in the first three years of life.

New Zealand Brainwave Trust’s medical spokesperson Dr Simon Rowley, says research suggests children who are nurtured, given every opportunity to explore the world and enjoy a variety of positive experiences, become flexible, empathetic and intelligent members of society in later life.

The Brainwave Trust was set up to use existing scientific research on brain development to enable children in New Zealand to reach their full potential.

“At birth our brains are only 15% connected. The other 85% of brain connections happen after birth in response to what we experience, particularly in the first three years,” says Dr Rowley.

“In order to become connected or 'wired up' we need lots of sensory experience to stimulate the brain cells to 'switch on' and talk to each other. This is most effectively done by parents and caregivers spending time with children and encouraging and facilitating exploration,” says Dr Rowley.

Research shows children who are neglected or raised in chaotic, abusive or violent circumstances fail to develop important characteristics like warmth and empathy.

“Their brains are ‘wired’ up for negativity and this does affect people in later life,” says Dr Rowley.

Well Child paediatrician Dr Marguerite Dalton agrees. She says giving time is the best gift a parent can give a child.

“The theme of Children’s Day this year is timely, given the recent United Nations Children’s Fund report which paints a bleak picture of how much time New Zealand parents and caregivers spend with their kids.”

“Interaction and engagement with our under 5’s is so important,” says Dr Dalton.

“Parents don’t need to spend a lot of money – getting kids involved in ordinary, every-day tasks, is a great way for them to feel connected, loved and special.”

“We need to make spending time with kids a habitual activity – something we do frequently and for the duration of a child’s youth,” says Dr Dalton.

This Children’s Day, Well Child encourages parents and caregivers to praise, talk to and spend time with children.

“Spending time can mean many things, but it does involve doing things together; like reading a book, playing a favourite game, eating, cooking, cleaning up the house, going for a walk or just having a cuddle – it’s only limited by your imagination,” says Dr Dalton.

Parents should also make time to immunise on time. Research shows delaying immunisation by as little as 30 days makes a child 4 times more likely to be hospitalised with whooping cough.

And don’t forget the routine Well Child checks – they’re free and provide a good opportunity to discuss the health and wellbeing of your child.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland