The impact of the environment upon the child to be born
Oct 27, 2012
One of the most powerful sources of influence on children is their life as a fetus. Some of the factors that influence the fetus are the level of nutrition he/she received in the womb, the disease drug and pollutions the mother was exposed to while carrying the fetus, the mother’s stress level and state of mind while she was pregnant. All these factors play an important role in the development of the fetus and it continues to shape the life of the child to be born.
Maria Montessori wrote in the discovery of the child, p228.
“We, instead, prepare a child indirectly not only for writing but also for calligraphy according to its two basic principles-beauty of form (by touching beautiful letters) and vigorous execution (by exercises in filling in figures.”
By following the same principle, the environment surrounding the fetus both directly and indirectly shapes the life of the fetus. For example, the fetus receives the beauty of sound (music, birds singing, mother or other people talking) by listening to voices surrounding the fetus. Similarly, the fetus receives the feeling of execution by following the movement of his/her external surroundings. For example, the fetus can feel when his/her mother is walking, dancing or sitting by following the movements. These then provides the fetus the state of happiness, sadness or other emotions depending on the sound and the movement the fetus is feeling in the mother’s womb.
The fetus is constantly hearing the sound surrounding him/her before birth. The sound the fetus hears plays an important role in the shaping the fetus before and after he/she is born. Research has shown that after babies are born they show constant preference to the voice of their mother. For example, in the book “Origins” by Annie Murphy Paul, she writes about a research that was conducted in which two rubber nibbles was brought to infant for sucking. One rubber nibble had the voice recording of the mother and the other rubber nibble had the voice recording of a stranger. The study showed that infants continued sucking for a longer period of time on the rubber nibble that had the voice recording of his/her mother. On the other hand, the rubber nibble that had the voice recording of a stranger, the infant sucked for a short period of time and then he/she stopped sucking it.
Another article published by Dr. Pascale Michelon in Sharp Brains magazine confirmed that infants give preference to his/her mother’s voice. In the article researchers studied the activity of the brain on 16 infants in response to their mother’s voice and the voice of a stranger. In the research electrodes were applied to the new born babies head while they were sleeping. After this the mother and a nurse was asked to make “A” vowel sound. Researchers noticed that when the mother spoke the left posterior temporal lobe of the brain was activated and while when the nurse spoke then the right temporal lobe of the brain was activated. The left posterior lobe of the brain is associated with language comprehension in adult brain while the right temporal lobe is associated with voice recognition in adult brain. The study confirms that voice of the mother plays an important role in the development of language.
My personal experience with my kids also helped me…