Why should I care about early childhood parenting?
That’s a great question. You may not have children, or be remotely interested in educational research. However, everyone is a neighbor and has neighbors. There is no one who is not part of the web of relationships that compose neighborhoods, communities, and society. Consequently, no one is untouched by the dynamics of early parenting, and no one is entirely without influence. Rather as the subtitle of The Apprenticeship of Being Human states, “Early Childhood Parenting Matters to Everyone.”
The First 5 Years
The disproportionate influence of the first five years of life lies in the fact that apprenticeship occurs constantly in children’s most primary relationships during a period of unparalleled brain growth and plasticity, forming up to 2 million synapses per second. A child’s brain grows from 25% to 80% of its adult volume from birth to age 3, and to 90% by age 5. If a child grew in stature at the same rate, the prototypical American boy would be five feet two and half inches tall by his fifth birthday.
What happens (or does not happen) in those early years shapes the physical structure of the child’s brain, defines the child’s understanding of normal and normative, and molds the child’s posture toward the world. Collectively, repeated early experiences have a lifelong impact on a child’s character, competence, creativity, health, and ability to collaborate with others. That is why early childhood parenting matters to everyone.
Convinced? Buy the book.