Early support for children

Early childhood is an exciting age. The children learn to think. and get to know their feelings and self-consciousness. They learn to make friends and gain basic skills in all areas. All of this is happening fast. Nerve cells grow and network with each other at a rate that will never be possible again later on - and this is the biological prerequisite for learning.

The foundation for many skills is laid during this time.

Parents want to promote these natural processes. And so the question is obvious: What is the best way to support children? They are curious and inquisitive, but there must also be someone to satisfy their thirst for knowledge. However, modern educational concepts such as those developed at the University of Munich, show it makes no sense to unilaterally support children at an early age. It is foremost a matter of gaining so-called basic competences. These are the basic skills a child needs to grow into a balanced and content person.

Basic competences comprise movement, perception, thinking, compassion and perseverance. First, it is important that you let your child climb, play, exercise and balance. According to the motto "raving makes smart", your child develops his or her ability to move in playful situations. The knowledge it achieves here is later also helpful in mastering spiritual tasks. Let your child try out a lot. It smells, tastes, tastes, tastes and feels like it wants to see if it can climb in somewhere or achieve something. Pay attention to your child, but let them have these experiences. It trains body perception and sharpens the senses. This is helpful to develop a good body feeling later on - a prerequisite for health-oriented behaviour and well-being.

According to modern knowledge, persistence is also a basic competence. Encourage your child to try something again if it doesn't work the first time. Teach him rules of social behaviour. Part of this is the cooperation, for example, that you go "always nice in order" on the slide and don't jump in front of each other. Distribute playful tasks to several children. In this way they learn the interplay, but also that sometimes you have to share and not have everything for yourself. Consider together with your child what is going on in another child who is crying. In this way you promote compassion and the ability to understand other people as independent beings. It is difficult for individual children to get this ability, which is a pity for pedagogues in counselling centres and schools.

Besides all these skills, it is important that you encourage your child to want to know and understand something. Children are curious and always ask what they are interested in at the moment and are receptive to this field of knowledge. Explain it, even if it sometimes seems to be annoying, and ask yourself stimulating questions that the child should answer. This promotes mental creativity and agility.

As you can see, there is no patent recipe for funding because the development cycles and temperaments vary from child to child. Above all, it is important to recognise and support your child's individual needs.

Children with developmental disorders play a special role. With them, it makes sense to promote skills that are less pronounced. This early intervention is started by the treating paediatrician. If your child is younger than 7 years of age and has a developmental disorder, he or she is entitled to early educational and psychological support. Depending on the problematic situation, this is financed by the social welfare offices or youth welfare offices.

Useful is a special early support for gifted and above-average intelligent children. Sometimes there are one-sided talents here, for example in music or sports, in languages or mathematics. Most of the time, however, talented individuals show an extraordinary abstract logical thinking ability and speed of thought. Such children need special incentives to develop their minds, otherwise they will be frustrated by far too low demands.

Copyright: Landeszentrale fuer Gesundheitsfoerderung in Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. (LZG) Germany

Text: Dr. Beatrice Wagner, Editor: Marielle Becker