Updated: Mar 1
Welcome to this episode of the parenthood series!
Growing up as a kid in our current society, it is almost hard not to hear someone say a bad word in a day but not impossible. As kids grow, they are mainly shaped by their immediate family before encountering others in society. In today’s episode, let’s see how our language can affect the development of kids.
As children begin to grow, they learn from their environment through reinforcement and punishment. This means that the immediate families of children have the responsibility of shaping their attitudes and behaviors. Let’s get into a little science here.
A child is born with millions of brain cells according to this study by the University of Maine. As they grow and learn from their immediate agents of socialization, family, they learn and hear certain behaviors and languages respectively that causes them to shed some of the brain neurons through what is known as pruning. This does not just happen which is why it is important to pay attention to the development of children. Based on the kind of attitudes and languages the child is exposed to, certain neuron synapses are stimulated more strongly than others. As such, it becomes a game of survival of the fittest just like the concept of natural selection. With this in mind, if kids are referred to with abusive or harsh languages, they tend to be left with that idea for the majority of their lives if not their entire lifetime. Though it is quite easy to change this mentality while still young, once the child hits a certain age, it is nearly impossible unless with constant therapy. Simply put, the brain is intertwined with language.
During this pandemic where most people are home, some parents may find it difficult in engaging their kids or get them to be obedient like their teachers would. This may get frustrating sometimes, but I would encourage that parents calm themselves before addressing their children. As much as parents are having a hard time, so are the kids. It's just that some may not be able to express themselves. Using harsh language towards kids especially in this period of the pandemic where some may not have others to talk to may lead to a decline in the mental health of most kids who experience this. With the fear of the unknown, when the pandemic will end and others, anxiety levels are high all over according to Dr. Carbray a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Nursing.
Always remember that the language you expose your kids to shapes them and they are more likely to remember those. Avoid using harsh words on them, validate their feelings and teach them how to navigate through society even before they are exposed. The more you do this, you will help their brain grow effectively.
Always remember it's just you and us.