Children are born with much more intelligence than we give them credit. We assume that because they cannot talk, (i.e. articulate thoughts in verbal communication), they are incapable of thinking. Must thoughts be verbalized before they can exist or legitimately be called ‘thoughts’? In fact, babies begin to exercise intuitive and mental abilities at birth. Some researchers believe intuition functions while the baby is still in the womb.
A baby’s perception develops as he becomes increasingly aware of light and movement. His five senses, stimulated from birth, gather data which his mind begins processing—sorting, categorizing and synthesizing into increasingly complex images. It is not by chance he recognizes familiar objects and people. His movements and sounds become increasingly deliberate, the result of rudimentary critical thinking.
We parents cannot contain our excitement when our baby utters his first word. Is he only mimicking us? Perhaps, at first, but from birth his mind takes note of the sounds coming out of our mouth. Intuitively, he recognizes an appropriate response is expected. His mind sifts through his memory bank to find a matching audible.
If he finds no match, he pays careful attention to our speech, even when we think he’s not listening. He practices his expanding catalog of new sounds. We coax him to talk. One day, he looks intently into our eyes and clearly articulates ‘ma-ma’!
Our outburst of joy and parental pride does not go unnoticed. The emotion, followed by a gush of praise and love, is registered in his memory. It feels good and becomes a strong motivation to recreate the process and experience the reward again. His little mind is already climbing the ladder of learning.
Quite unaware, we have begun the ‘creative home-learning’ process. The opportunities are limitless as are the rewards when we become intentionally engaged in the experience.
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