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Early years: Setting the stage for emotional well-being

Early years: Setting the stage for emotional well-being

Every child deserves a good beginning to life. Parents need support during the crucial early years. Parents need to provide their children with nurture, love and consistent attuned parenting to help their child have the best chance at emotional, intellectual and physical health. No one can do this without support.

In the Dunedin study, a longitudinal study of health, development behavior taking place in New Zealand, researchers have found that those who will struggle the most with their emotional health, need help as early as age three. The prevention and treatment of child and adolescent emotional health problems needs to be a global priority.

Brain development in the early years

The child’s brain develops during the first five years more than at any other time during life. The brain grows to almost adult size in the early years. Also, more connections between brain cells are formed at this time than at later stages of life. These connections are vital for the functioning of the brain. They have an impact on how we think, learn and communicate. Forming these connections later in life is harder.

The young child’s brain develops in normal everyday experiences with mother, father and other important people in their life. When we as adults are loving, are emotionally attuned and look after the baby consistently, the child’s brain develops optimally.

Your child doesn’t need to attend expensive classes or have a lot of toys. They need love and care to develop. Your child needs your time and attention to have the best possible start to life.

The first five years set the stage for the your child’s later experiences. Early experiences impact their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. Their ability to grow and develop rests in the first five years of their life.

When a child grows up in an environment where their strengths are recognized, they learn to recognize their strengths as well and will have the courage to be an active participant in the world.

Parents need to be supported in nurturing their child

Looking after a baby or a young child is not easy. Parents need to be supported during the challenging years of sleep deprivation, increased responsibility, stress, lack of time, and difficulty to find a healthy balance in life. 

Parenting is even more difficult for a single parent, in the presence of physical or mental health problems, financial hardship, strenuous external stresses or when there are marital or family difficulties. 

We will keep hope alive

Aurelia Psychology was created to offer support and guidance. We know how crucial the early years are for the well-being of the individual. Hence, we are committed to making free and low cost educational resources available to as many parents as possible. 

Emotional health problems stem from social, psychological and biological factors. Parents need to be able to have enough bandwidth to manage the challenges of parenting. This means that parents need to be financially, physically, emotionally and socially supported to do the best job they can.

We may not be able to reduce child poverty, war or racial inequality. However, what we can do is support the important work that parents do every day. By supporting parents, we support the child and by supporting the child we change the world. We need to do what we can to change the world for the better.

We also want to help and support those individuals and couples who have to deal with the aftermath of their own adverse childhood experiences. 

At Aurelia Psychology we recognize that every individual has the potential for greatness. We will support individuals in uncovering their greatness. Change is not easy nor fast but we believe that everyone can change when offered the right support and tools. 

Our job as psychologists is to be the holders of hope. We will keep hope alive even when you have lost faith in change. 

Matleena Vanhanen is a licensed Counselling Psychologist with over 20 years of experience working in Europe and the Middle East. She has a practice of couples and individual therapy at the MapleTree Center in Dubai.

Dr. Ava Ghasemi (Holdich) is a licensed Psychologist with 11 years experience in the U.S., Canada and the Middle East. She has a practice of individual and couples therapy at the MapleTree Center in Dubai.

This article features the advice of a licensed expert, but it is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment from a trained professional. In an emergency, please seek help from your local medical or law enforcement services.

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