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Useful Information for Families
We would like to share some recommendations by Dr. Darla Clayton, PsyD in clinical psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a mother to two fantastic children, a son who has cerebral palsy and a daughter. She has put her thoughts in simple words for parents with similar situation. We hope that many parents will find these valuable recommendations useful and helpful in raising their children.
“What’s the most important thing a child has? It’s her brain. And yet, we’re not caring for children’s brains the way we care for their bodies,” – said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. He continues, “A child whose brain does not develop properly may not learn as well or earn as much – which translates into a diminished future for her and less sustainable growth for her society.”
The pregnancy and postpartum periods are particularly important times for both parents: they can experience great joy, but also confusion, vulnerability and anxiety. Often, when everyone is expecting them to manifest only happiness at this time, young parents feel too embarrassed to admit that they need additional help in many ways.
The emotional bond between a parent and child is the glue that joins the components of a child's development: health, education, growth and general well-being. Problems in a child’s attachment to a parent or other primary caretaker may adversely affect the child's development.
There are numerous cultural and other barriers preventing fathers from fully caring for mothers during the prenatal period, participating in the childbirth process, and providing care for their newborn children.
Many parents believe that infants need only food, warmth and regular medical care.
The early years, especially the first three years of life, are very important for building the baby’s brain. Everything she or he sees, touches, tastes, smells or hears helps to shape the brain for thinking, feeling, moving and learning.
Babies who are breastfed are generally healthier and achieve optimal growth and development compared to those who are fed formula milk. If the vast majority of babies were exclusively fed breastmilk in their first six months of life – meaning only breastmilk and no other liquids or solids, not even water – it is estimated that the lives of at least 1.2 million children would be saved every year throughout the world.