Children cannot care for others if they are not cared for first. They cannot nurture another without being nurtured themselves.
Children who mature without these basic needs being met become adults incapable of giving unconditional love, support, and sympathy.
We can’t deny the fact that children need to be nurtured and loved from birth to create a trusting bond between them and the adults in their lives, to enable them to grow and learn.
This is because young children experience their world through their relationships with parents. When those relationships provide safe, stable, and nurturing environments, children are more likely to thrive physically and emotionally.
What is interesting about the impact of nurturing younger children from the ages of 5 to 9, is that what they learn as habits during this time is likely to remain with them for the rest of their lives.
This is a finding from a famous survey – The Learning Habit – which was conducted in 2011.
This blog is based on the book, of the same name, that resulted from this survey.
In this blog, we try to summarise some of the key conclusions of The Learning Habit. This blog consists of the following sections.
· Introduce the Learning Habit – the survey, study and book.
· Provide an overview of the link between age and habit forming.
· Modern parenting – the need for nurturing support.
The Learning Habit - How parenting affects growth and learning
The Learning Habit was a survey of 21,145 parents which resulted in a 3-year study, whose findings led to the publication of a book - all under the same name.
It is unique in that it did not pick one particular aspect of childhood success but rather focused on the whole child: meaning multiple aspects of family life and many of the external influences that contribute to a child’s well-being. For the therapist and parent, The Learning Habit provides a research-driven compendium that translates into a model for family action.
The Learning Habit was authored by three authors—a psychotherapist, a paediatric psychologist, and a neuropsychological educator.
The blog summarises an interesting conclusion of the book around habit-forming and age.
The Link between age and habit forming
One of the most interesting conclusions of The Learning Habit was that children’s habits formed between the ages of 5 to 9. After the age of 9, they did not significantly change.
The below graph shows the main data from which this conclusion was drawn.
The percentages in the graph indicate the percentage of children not being able to put away their devices. Read another way, this means that at the age of 5 only 74% of kids are not addicted to their devices. As the children get older it gets harder and harder to get children to put their devices away. At the age of 9 57% of kids are not addicted to their devices.
After the age of 9, the percentage of children able to put away their things is consistently hovering around the 57% mark. It is this fact that led the authors of the book to conclude that after the age of 9 it was difficult to change a child’s habits.
The book suggests that between the ages of 5 to 9 it is increasingly harder for kids to do the opposite when certain behaviour has become a habit. This is reinforced over time, for example, if a kid does a certain activity like gaming from a young age and it is something they enjoy.
At a young age, what they consistently do becomes part of who they are as individuals.
Modern Parenting – the need for nurturing assistance Most people would agree that parenting today is vastly different from even a generation ago. In the past, mothers were the ones who stayed at home to take care of the children while fathers were the breadwinners of the family.
In today’s society with both parents working, most children are cared for by their caregivers, or left at childcare. Parents need support to work with schools in order to meet their nurturing responsibilities.
Vircle is focused on supporting parents and schools with one very key aspect of nurturing. That is the nurturing of children’s eating and purchasing habits.
Vircle equips parents to have control and visibility of what their child purchases and consumers at school remotely. This means that while both parents are at work, they can keep an eye on what their child eats and purchases, and can intervene and guide if and when required.
Setting good food habits is important as food impacts school grades and significantly effects the long term health of the child.