Play Your Part PlayBox

Human brain development is like building a house: construction is an ongoing process that starts with a foundation and goes through several critical stages. After the foundation comes framing the rooms, then electrical wiring, and so on up until the point where the changes amount to rearranging the furniture and painting an accent wall. Similarly, the human brain develops from childhood into adulthood and goes through sensitive periods that account for essential functions. And just like a house, if the brain starts with a weak foundation, it can’t be built to its full potential. 

The foundation of the brain is developed in early childhood, from birth up to 8 years of age. As children learn new and increasingly complex skills, the underlying circuits that make these skills possible build on previously learned skills and those skills’ circuits. This is important for two reasons: first, children’s experiences even in their earliest stages of life will inevitably influence their learning and behaviour in the future; second, behavioural and mood problems that arise during adulthood are more difficult to solve because they originated from childhood experiences that have had years to cement themselves in the brain’s overall structure. It is always easier to fix the foundation of a house when it has just been laid than when it supports three stories. 

Just like a faulty foundation of our house, a faulty foundation for the world’s children threatens our societal security and prosperity. Their happiness and education now will determine their happiness, productivity, and success as adults. We have to make every effort to build and support healthy foundations, unless we want to find ourselves out in the rain someday.