Many new parents still think that babies should develop at their own pace and that they should not be challenged to do things that they are not yet ready for. Infants should learn to roll around under their own power, without any “helpful” nudges, and they should not support their weight before they can stand or walk on their own.
According to neuroscientist Audrey van der Meer, a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) this mindset can be traced back to the early 1900s, when professionals were convinced that our genes determine who we are, and that child development occurred independently of the stimulation that a baby is exposed to. They believed it was harmful to hasten development, because development would and should happen naturally.
However, modern brain research shows that early stimulation contributes to brain development gains. The neurons in the brains of young children quickly increase in both number and specialization as the baby learns new skills and becomes more mobile. (neurons in very young children form up to a thousand new connections per second) Van der Meer believes that even the smallest babies must be challenged and stimulated at their level from birth onward. (1)
We imagine that everything is pre-set. We believe we are matter obeying physical laws. But the main reason for us walking is not any physical law, but the simple fact that we want to walk. The main reason for us growing is not any gene, but the shear fact that we want to grow. We wish we were better. We imagine ourselves in the future.
How can you grow without wanting to grow?
How can you live without wanting to live?
How can you die without wishing to die?
Will yourself into existence.
Break the void of the cosmos.
Start walking among the stars…