The goal of this TED talk by Molly Wright, one of the youngest speakers at the prestigious TED conference, is to bring attention to the critical importance of early childhood brain development and the long-term effects of neglecting this area. Its goal is to encourage and inspire adults to spend more time interacting positively with children in order to improve their development in the long run.
Molly Wright, a second-grader from Queensland, Australia is an aspiring wildlife warrior, performer, and budding social activist. She’s only seven years old, but at the age of seven, she uses the game of peekaboo to make a difference in the world.
Molly and the top researchers in the field of brain development both stress the importance of service and giving back to the community to carers and parents. Like in tennis, but slightly modified: Molly dubs this a “grownup” phrase and prefers to translate it to — connect, talk, and play with children! What they really want is that. When should you go back to serve and when should you go serve again? In a word: frequently and in the beginning. Up to a million new neural connections are made in a human brain every second during the first few years of life, making this period of development the most rapid in life. According to Molly, the following five factors are crucial to a person’s healthy growth and development on the path to realizing their full potential:
- a healthy home
The practice of making imitations of others’ work, fosters creative thinking and emotional intelligence. Playing naming games can improve both vocabulary and focus, and remember that games like peekaboo are great for fostering both memory and trust between players says Molly.
When we have healthy relationships with the adults in our lives, we gain the confidence to try new things, explore our environment, and simply enjoy being a kid.
“It not only builds and strengthens our relationships and mental health, it actually teaches us some of the most important life skills, from making friends to taking the test to get a job to one day maybe starting our own family,” Molly says, encouraging parents to encourage their children to serve and return early and often.
Every second spent with one another is a chance to bond, share, and have fun. Just think of the impact we could make if everyone in the world did this. As kids, we see it as much more than just a game. This is the way of the future for us.