Why does your baby need you to join our ‘Babies in Mind’ network and attend our parent workshops? Psychologists are always going on about how mental health rests on the foundation of the early weeks, months and years of life. But in addition to this, on a purely economic basis, says Dr James Heckman, PhD Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, it makes a lot of sense and it is good business to invest in the young.
James Heckman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2000. His research shows that the highest rates of return of investment in human capital is from early investments – that is, early intervention with very young children and their parents.
As an economist Dr Heckman knows, as we as psychologists know from a different perspective, that learning starts in infancy and continues throughout life. The early social and emotional experiences of very young children affect their future growth and potential.
Self- confidence, curiosity, persistence and self-control are all developed from the early weeks of life onwards. As Dr Heckman states, when a baby has consistently received what she needs – comfort when upset, stimulation that is not overwhelming, and plenty of loving, playful interactions – she learns to trust the world around her and she is more able to develop the social and emotional skills needed to succeed later in school and throughout life.
Although you might not feel the need for yourself, it will benefit your child in so many ways for you to get parenting help at the beginning of her life. Early childhood intervention (workshops for new parents) has been shown to pave the way towards building good patterns and healthy family relationships. These will protect your child psychologically throughout life.