Article for About Families
Check out this educational article written by WTTB® founder for About Families, a monthly publication featuring information on health, education and parenting.Dr. Melodye Hilton
Who’s teaching the babies?®
We all desire to give our babies the most nutritious food, the most beautiful clothing, and fill our houses with toys and gadgets to make their life more enjoyable. We have hopes that one day they will be the most intelligent, artistic, athletic, high-performing achievers that the world has ever seen! However, we must recognize that successful lives do not evolve by default, but through conscious and intentional investments into the uniqueness of their identity, purpose, and potential.
I have learned through experience and science, the life-empowering results of teaching babies. The most crucial and foundational window of opportunity in a child’s life is from the time of conception to the age of three-years-old. These indispensable initial years introduce a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that can never be recaptured or revisited again.
How can we teach babies? Biologically, an infant’s brain begins to form just three weeks after conception. During this time, trillions of neurons are produced, reaching a lifetime high before birth. Synapses—connections between cells in the brain—are rapidly developed, with memory beginning at only four months in utero. This vital stage of life proves scientifically to be the foundational launching point for a human being’s entire life. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that if a baby can retain memory within the womb, we can deliberately teach them in not only intellectual areas, but also in the very framework of their personhood. From the start of life, a child’s worth can be taught and established. This validation confirms them as a unique and valuable individual, setting the stage for emotional health and an internal stability as they continue to grow and mature.
I am a leadership consultant as well as a trained behavioral analyst. I have learned through the years that what sets an individual apart from the crowd goes far beyond the development of their competencies and intellect. Beyond these traits rises the state of their emotional maturity, which speaks not only of one’s ability, but the quality and longevity of their living. This critical factor ignites a sense of self-worth and personal validation. Not only that, but it creates an optimism that empowers a person to take risks and gives them the buoyancy to get up with confidence when circumstances knock them down. My desire is to see a generation rise up who has emotional strength and stability as well as high levels of intelligence.
You see, the experiences, interactions, social connections, and words received during this beginning stage build the framework for a child’s future. Not only is a child’s intellect being developed, but 75% of their personality is shaped by the time they reach three-years old. During this period between conception and 36 months, habitual thought patterns are created and identity, emotional health, and the ability to trust are formed. Healthy individuation and separation, a process where a baby gains personal identity and learns independence, all begins around crawling time. That trust is the solid foundation to a healthy mind.
As little as 25 years ago, neuroscientists thought the brain was genetically predetermined at conception and that the structure of the brain could not change. Now, we have the understanding that early investments, experiences, and teaching have a powerful impact on emotional well being, brain development, trust, and intellect, which are all building blocks to a healthy foundation in the lives of our babies.
I am convinced that we can positively impact our future society if we are willing to invest into the babies and children of today.
Each baby is valuable, precious, and worth the investment as identity and destiny are established…one baby at a time!
Dr. Melodye Hilton, leadership consultant, behavioral analyst, and the founder of Who’s Teaching the Babies? is also a mother, grandmother, and a mentor to many emerging leaders.
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