Check and Sam. Painting by Lizabeth

Connect Meaningfully with Your Child: 5 Easy Tips For Them To Thrive By Five

Like to give your child the best start in life?

You can do five simple activities every day to better connect with young children under the age of five and help rewire their brains in a way that will support them to reach their full potential.

Thrive by Five

The “Thrive by Five” plan offers activities to help grownups engage and build meaningful connections with young children as their brains develop.

I tested this out on kids I’ve met, making sure to give them my full attention as if they were the centre of my universe at that moment.

Kids thrive on connection, like four-year-old Sam in my illustration above. So, whenever I meet up with him and his Mum, I make sure to put my phone away and get down on the floor to talk, play and draw with him. He loves it.

Studies have demonstrated that the first five years of a young child’s life are crucial for their health and development, especially their brains.

And the most popular Ted Talk in 2021 was all about this life-changing research.

Molly Wright was just seven when her talk, Thrive by Five, was filmed, and she is the youngest person to present in TED’s history.

“My talk today is about some powerful things your grownups can do that shape us as children and the adults we become.”

~ Molly Wright

With over 1.9 million views on YouTube, this captivating talk offers five easy ways to positively nurture your children’s early childhood development.

Referred to in the scientific world as “serve and return”, it’s all about connecting, talking, and playing with young children, in a way that gives them your full attention.

Top Tip #1: Connect

To properly connect with kids and give them the full attention they deserve, you need to put down your mobile devices.

As Molly said: “I know it’s essential for adults to use their devices sometimes, but kids are hardwired to seek out meaningful connections; not receiving them causes confusion and stress.”

Top Tip #2: Talk

Talk to your young ones to build and strengthen their understanding of relating plus nurture their mental health.

Top Tip #3: Play

Play is as essential as breathing for all of us, young and old. The following are especially good for under-fives:

  1. Copycat games: For building imagination and empathy.
  2. Peekaboo: For building memory and trust.
  3. Naming games: To build vocabulary and attention.

Top Tip #4: Healthy Home

A healthy home environment sets children up for success, so make it a priority to provide materials and resources that positively stimulate your child’s brain and support good emotional and physical health.

Top Tip #5: Community

Your brain develops faster in the very early years than at any other time in your life. Therefore, having a supportive community is vital for stimulating and promoting healthy neurological growth.

Top 5 Tips To Thrive By Five by Molly Wright
Top 5 Tips To Thrive By Five by Molly Wright

The drawing above by seven-year-old Molly nicely illustrates these five top tips for nurturing your young child to their full potential. (Supplied: TED Talks).

Mindful parenting and caring for young children will give them the best start in life by nourishing their brains during the most crucial stage of neurological growth.

I’ve watched kids whose parents’ practised self-awareness and connected deeply with them at a young age grow into incredibly resilient and well-adjusted adults.

These five deceptively simple activities can make a big difference and offer opportunities for you to contribute something very impactful towards our next generation.

Plus, help support creative, confident, and happy kids to grow into amazing adults. Take seven minutes now to listen to Molly Wright’s Ted Talk below:

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