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30 May 2019
So often do we get caught up in the rigmarole of our hectic and busy lives with our jobs and our families, that we easily forget one of the most important aspects of our child's life - his or her emotional well-being. The most critical times in a child's life are the first three years. In this critical phase, constantly switching providers of childcare or having a 'part time' parent come irregularly in their lives can be extremely destabilizing and traumatic for the child. Just as the child's physical needs are met, it is equally important to meet his or her emotional needs and it is the duty of the involved adults like parents, educators and care providers to make a joint effort towards achieving this on a daily basis. If a child's emotional requirements are not satisfied, especially up till the age of three, it can have devastating effects on him or her. It can result in disruptive, defiant and violent behavior.

There are a number of reasons why the first three years of the child's life are so important. This is the period when emotional separation and bonding takes place. Misbehavior on the child's part can result if either one of these processes is interrupted. This can have far reaching consequences in their relationships in life and can hinder the development of healthy relationships when they become adolescents and adults.

The brain undergoes extremely rapid development up till the age of three; a kind of development which never repeats again in life. By the age of three, the child's brain has already cemented from what they have experienced up till that point. Therefore, it becomes necessary that these experiences should be supportive, loving, positive and safe, so that the brain can be conditioned to function positively. If they have had hurtful, frightening, dangerous or abusive experiences, then without doubt the brain will be conditioned to expect negativity.

For all these reasons, it is imperative that the caregivers, parents and all involved adults should try hard to ensure that emotionally, the child's needs are always met positively and in a manner that is healthy and constructive. Parents should make sure that the care providers of the child are consistent and stable and see to it that the care provider is not changed too many times. The child will feel secure and safe only if it is given a consistent and structured routine and schedule. During this period, you must try to spend a lot of quality time with your child regardless of how busy and stressed you may be. Sensing stress is a frightful situation for children and you must ensure this doesn't take place. Therefore you need to constantly remind him or her that you are not too busy to take him or her out.

You must never forget that a child's emotional need is as important as its physical needs and you need to do your part in order to ensure that your child knows he or she is secure, safe, loved and treasured.

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