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What Key Development Area Do You Think Is Most Important For Your Child

As an Early Childhood Consultant and Trainer, I try to make sure all of my students as well as teachers and directors receive curriculums that have components of the the four core areas in Child Development. Those four areas are Physical, Social, Emotional and Cognitive development.

I find that there are some parents and teachers who feel that the bulk of the learning should take place in the Cognitive area where they are learning alphabets, numbers, shapes and colors and are using their brains. And if they are not learning anything concrete or having to do with intelligence in the cognitive sense then it is worthless to them.

The other day I was consulting with a parent. She was very distressed that her soon to be four year old was not listening to her. I listened to her concerns and was really surprised that after a full day of preschool she also expected him to study at home for about 45 minutes to an hour. I explained to her that that was a lot of time for a 3-4 year old to spend time studying after being in preschool all day. He needs bonding time with her and the family and also time to play and relax.

I also explained that play is the work of children and that this is just as important as learning alphabets, numbers and writing. I explained that through play her son was learning about what he is able to do, how things work, using his imagination and exploring and discovering. He is building his emotional capacity by dealing with frustrations when things don”t go as expected and building his self confidence and esteem when things go perfectly for him. Emotional , social and physical knowledge are just as important as intellectual knowledge.

To the mother, the most important thing was the cognitive learning. This mother is not wrong for her beliefs. She is doing what she feels is best for her child. She even told me that she wants her child to excel in every area, emotional, spiritually, physically and in every way. I can tell she was really sincere and is  a very loving and kind parent.

I gave her some tools and techniques to gain his cooperation in responding to her requests quicker and more consistently. I also asked her to keep in mind that importance of play and developing other skills that he will need later on in life. She listened and agreed.

I am very curious to find out what other parents feel or think, especially those of preschool aged children from infancy to 5 years old. So I am asking what do you think? I would love to hear from you and have you share your experiences.

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2 Responses to “What Key Development Area Do You Think Is Most Important For Your Child”

  1. Hi D’TaRelle,

    I enjoyed your article. I wish that children were encouraged to play because play immerses them in a creative and upbeat, positive process. I meet far too many adults in my practice who have not been taught the value of creative visioning. It’s not their fault–when we are children, our parents, teachers, and other well-meaning adults tell us to stop daydreaming. Funny, because everything that exists existed first in the imagination.

    • D'TaRelle F. Tullis says:

      Rachel you are so right. As an adult in the midst of creating her dream life I really do realize the importance of holding on to that ability of learning to dream. Play, imagining and day dreaming are vitally important skills for both children and adults. Like you said they are positive and upbeat. They also keep us connected to who and what we really are, creators. When we create we are truly happy so the more of it that we can do the better life experience we have. Thanks so much for stopping by and please come back and comment again. :-)

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