The Gift of Choice and Being Allowed to Play at Something Challenging

Young children are so much more intelligent and capable than we tend to give them credit for.  Did you know that a 3 year old has more brain connections than you or I do?

neural connectionsThis picture shows that the density of brain connections grows greatest in the early years.  The connections that get used a lot grow stronger and faster, while other connections that are not used will get weaker.  So some people will get better and better at throwing and catching a ball, while others will develop greater skill at hearing and understanding music.

None of us can become great at everything!  But we can become great at something we spend a lot of time working at.

Here’s where the gift of choice comes in.  All of us are more willing to work hard at things that interest us.  We’re more likely to become great at something when we have the opportunity to explore something that interests us, and work at it to our heart’s content!

There are some wonderful YouTube videos showing the genius of young children.  The video at the link below is 4 1/2 minutes of the joy of a 3 year old conducting a recorded orchestra.  As a musician myself, I can tell you he is demonstrating real skill!

I don’t think we ought to understand that this child was born with more intelligence or talent than others.  Rather, I think he had the opportunity to find something that interested him very early– and he had the opportunity to run with it!

What natural interests have you observed in your child?  What happens when you allow your child to explore those interests to their heart’s content?


Author:  Ginny Trierweiler, Ph.D.,,




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