Adverse childhood experiences can have long-term effects, including increasing the risk of depressive disorders later on in life. Even the children’s physical health can have lingering effects until their adulthood as this research article suggests. 

The importance of positive early childhood experiences 

Here, we can see how important early experiences are in children’s long-term development. If they have a bad start, this might negatively affect them for the rest of their lives. 

On the other hand, if children get an amazing start in life, they have higher chances of achieving greater happiness, better adult health and a brighter economic future. Although later experiences can still affect their life’s trajectory, their early experiences can have a huge impact on where they’re going and how they perceive the world (this perception can shape how they get along with others, form bonds and relationships and approach learning). 

Also, in the children’s early years, that’s when rapid brain development occurs. It’s the period when the brain’s ability to change in response to experiences is extremely high. As years go by, that ability decreases and the amount of effort to change increases. In other words, starting young is just much easier. Although change is still possible in the later years, this is much harder to correct. 

As a result, it’s important that children gain positive experiences in their early years. It’s also important that they receive proper guidance and undergo the optimal approach for learning. For instance, experts now recognise the value of play-based learning and a nurturing environment. In play-based learning, the approach is much more interactive and much closer to how children actually learn and start to make sense of the world. When done in a safe and nurturing environment, children can have the freedom to play and explore. This can help accelerate their learning and proper development. 

Early experiences can have a huge impact on children’s long-term development. If they have gained an adverse experience, an early intervention is a must. For them to gain more positive experiences, they should always be in a nurturing environment that will support their rapid brain development.