Unlike the brains of other animals, the human brain is unfinished at birth, it requires experiences and input from the world to complete and is fully dependant on adults to survive.
A new born brain, via the senses, is in data gathering mode. In the first three years especially, pēpi is figuring out and adapting to the environment he is growing up in and wiring up a brain that will determine how he will think, feel and act for the rest of his life.
The key to early brain development is the primary attachment relationship to their parent(s) or caregiver. This relationship acts as a ‘pattern’ for all future relationships and how a pēpi learns to trust, relate and respond to another human. Their feelings about themselves, levels of confidence and sense of security and how well they’ll cope with stress, are all directly affected by the messages sent to their brain when parents and whānau do or do not respond to their needs.