SURVIVOR DNA: The DNA from two humans merges, enabling the emergence of new generations of species. The history of each set of DNA is extraordinary, for it has traveled from ancient ancestors for thousands of years. DNA adapts to life changes, increasing the probability of survival. Throughout the ages, thousands of families failed to survive due to natural disasters, famine, disease, wars, etc. I like to think that people who live today have survivor DNA.
NATURE: Thus, humans are born genetically equipped to survive. Infant brains constantly receive data from the five senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste and skin sensations. That data is analyzed by the amygdala as being good/safe or bad/danger.
For example, when your baby’s skin sends the message that it feels wet and uncomfortable, a part of your infant’s brain, amygdala, codes the experience as bad, then signals that cortisol (alarm juice) should be released to flood the body, causing general discomfort. The natural response of your child is to communicate distress (cry out for help).
After you change your baby’s diaper, the skin sends a second message that it now feels dry and normal. The amygdala judges that to be good, signals the release of endorphins (happy juice) causing your baby to smile. The infant brain stores a memory of the incident for future reference; a neural pathway for coping is forming. Crying out is not a “bad behavior” symptom. It is a normal physical process of the baby’s survival system.
NURTURE: Newborns’ brains enable them to breathe, eat, sleep, see, hear, smell, make noise, feel sensations and recognize the people close to them. They are genetically prepared for development. Ashley Montague, prominent sociologist of the 1960’s theorized that humans have a gestation period of 18 months, with birth occurring before the end of the ninth month. He put forward that the normal birth process cannot accommodate a fully developed human head. Therefore, most neural development occurs during the second nine months.
What I appreciate most about his theory is the possibility of heightened parental awareness that parent-child interactions vitally affect actual physical and emotional development. Good and bad seeds that are planted grow.
Research now suggests rapid growth during the first few years affect neural connections involved in regulating emotions, language and abstract thought. Both heredity and experiences significantly form the person your child will become. All children need stimulation and nurturance for healthy development.
BODY LANGUAGE IS FIRST COMMUNICATION: Your child is genetically prepared for learning to communicate with you from birth. The baby watches and strives to understand your body language and sounds. Your mutual bond grows with each use of body language this connection is vital for your child’s survival.
Warm, loving feelings are shared as you look into your baby’s eyes and talk. The brain’s natural happy Juices, dopamine and opioids, flood both your bodies. Initial learning is fun! Isn’t it logical that learning should be joyful throughout life?
Observation will remain a basic mode of learning that affects the development of behavioral patterns throughout life. Parental conduct tends to be the primary influence on young children. When they enter school, teachers’ influence enters that hierarchy. By approximately eight years of age, the desire to fit in socially has become stronger. From that time on, peer influence is a strong competitor with that of parents and teachers.