Let us Pray: Almighty and ever-living God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and love; and that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen
Archives for January 2019
Let us Pray. Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Babies are born with approximately 100 billion neurons in the brain. However, the majority are not yet connected. As the child grows and learns, the brain begins to make essential connections. The rational part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex which adults use to think, is not fully developed until age 25. The brain is most receptive to learning during the first five years of life. Preschool brain development has a major impact on child development. By the age of 3, the brain is about 80 percent of an adult size brain. By age 5, the brain is 90 percent or nearly full grown.
Early Brain Development
A baby is born with all of the brain cells that they will have for the rest of their lives. However, it is the connection between these cells that enable us to think, communicate, move, and perform other essential tasks. The building of massive neuron connections is most prevalent during the first few years of life. During this time, children are able to adapt to their environment and strengthen their ability to learn through regular stimulation and communication in their home and in outside educational settings.
Different areas of the brain are responsible for different functions. For example, the cerebrum, which accounts for 80 percent of the brain, is used to interpret sensations such as hearing, vision, smell, and touch. It also controls our emotions and feelings. The cerebellum, which accounts for 11 percent of the brain, controls learning, balance, and “automate” movements, such as the ability to type quickly on a keyboard. The brain stem, which runs from the spinal cord to right under the cerebrum, is essential for maintaining life. It controls breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, digestion, and the reticular activating system (RAS).
A child’s daily experiences early in life help determine which brain connections develop. One of the most important influences is a child’s relationship with the adults in her or her life. By creating loving relationships with responsive adults, children are able to develop healthy development in a stable, safe, and nurturing environment. These relationships start at home with parents and siblings. Different parenting styles can also affect child brain development. Once a child reaches school age, healthy outside relationships can develop with teachers, childcare providers, and other members of the community.
Nurturing Child Preschool Brain Development
It is important for parents to encourage stimulating activities that enhance mental and physical development early in life. Preschool brain development primarily focuses on hands-on learning and direct interactions. Young children are able to develop concrete skills through regular practice of abstract thinking, memory, concentration, and decision-making abilities. Simple board games that help develop problem solving skills, age-appropriate puzzles that provide fun challenges, and categorization activities help grow essential skills like memory and concentration. At preschool age, children can also learn through make-believe and imaginative play which grows their creative thinking skills.
It is important to remember that preschool children are sensory learners who enjoy smelling, tasting, and touching in an attempt to explore their surroundings. Help your child learn and grow by letting them feel new textures, sing songs, and look at pictures. Encourage motor development through physical activities, such as dressing and undressing on their own, kicking a ball, or using a pencil to draw basic shapes. Remember that every child grows and develop skills at their own pace. It is completely normal for a child to be behind in one area, such as language, while being ahead in another area, such as motor development.
Attending Christ Lutheran Church Preschool
Preschool provides young children with a head start to learning and development. Although kindergarten is typically seen as the real “first” grade, more and more parents are starting to realize the importance of preschool for brain development. Attending a Christian play-based preschool can help children form strong values based on the principles found in the Bible. Play-based learning incorporates various forms of sensory learning, and may include activities relating to nature, arts, and music. Educators in these settings often encourage play-based learning through imaginative, stimulating games and exploration. Christian classrooms are strategically structured with the unique needs of preschool children in mind.
A child is more likely to excel if they are in a loving and nurturing environment that is fun and accepting of differences. At the Christ Lutheran Church Preschool, there is a strong emphasis on social development which helps young children learn love and consideration for others. The curriculum also recognizes learning in many areas with activities such as group sharing, arts and crafts, outdoor play, fine and gross motor development, stories and puppets, family activities, and bible-based weekly chapel. For more information about preschool brain development or how to enroll your child in a Christian play-based preschool, contact the Christ Lutheran Church Preschool today.
God’s love, healing and grace are available for us each day in Jesus Christ! One of the most overlooked benefits of going to worship is the positive effect on your mental and physical health. Religion and spirituality shape so much of life. They shape our outlook, beliefs, behavior, sense of meaning and purpose, and how we deal with stressors. All of these have monumental impacts on our health. Luther wrote that “god is the term for that to which we are to look for all good and in which we are to find refuge in all need. To have a god is nothing else than to trust and believe in that one with your whole heart. (Large Catechism)
While some might be skeptical, there is truly a connection between attending services each Sunday and having good health. There are a number of surprising ways that going to church can improve your mental health to include reducing the risk of depression and suicide, getting better sleep, living longer, having lower blood pressure, and having a happier marriage. Reach out to Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church and Pastor Paul for more information and to attend one of their worship services each Sunday.
Sunday Worship Can Lower Your Risk of Depression and Suicide
When discussing mental health, part of that is acknowledging and dealing with mental illnesses. It has been found that spirituality, religion, and faith can help people who struggle with mental illnesses like anxiety or depression live well with their conditions. Not only can Sunday worship help you in times of crisis, but it can also help you manage your spiritual health. There are a number of ways in which attending church services can lower the chances of depression and suicide. The first is by great a strong support system. When you attend church regularly it’s natural that you’re going to start recognizing people and eventually forming lasting relationships. You’ll become part of the community and enjoy all of the support and benefits that come along with adding good people and faith into your life. This is a community that you can depend on when times get tough and you know without a doubt that they support you.
Sunday Services Can Reduce Stress
Another way is that attending church services helps to reduce stress and gain inner strength. The church’s teachings play a big role in this as you learn to trust in God’s love and goodness in Christ in your everyday life. The church can help you deal with stress in a healthy manner so that it doesn’t become overwhelming. You can also look forward to going to church every Sunday because you know you’ll be surrounded by a community that supports you and is in an environment that facilitates peace. Self-reflection plays a key role in constantly growing and becoming a better person, and church is the perfect, safe place for you to do this. The church can also help you recognize the many blessings that are present in your life and help you to appreciate them in ways you might not have before. All of these things will help to improve your mental health and lower your risk of having to deal with depression and suicide.
Church Attendance Promotes Better Sleep
Some studies have shown that there is an association between better sleep and church attendance. Better sleep is associated with churchgoers because they tend to be less stressed. Going to church every Sunday helps you have a healthy mindset and gives you time to “re-group” every week and put things into perspective. These things help you deal with the stressors that are present in your life in a healthy manner. Less stress, or at least dealing with stress in a healthy way, will lead to better sleep, which will help to improve your mental health.
Attend Sunday Worship Services to Live Longer and Healthier
There have been studies done that show a strong correlation between attending church services regularly and living a long and healthy life. Both having a low risk for depression and suicide and getting good sleep can contribute to a longer life, but there are also other contributing factors. As you get older, attending church services is a way to stay active and get out and be apart of a community. The positive energy, strong community, and faith can help lead to a longer life. People who attend church regularly are also more likely to make good choices that prolong their life.
Lower Your Blood Pressure By Attending Church
Regular church-goers tend to have lower blood pressure because they are able to handle stressors in a healthy way and because they are less likely to smoke and make other unhealthy choices.
Happier Marriages Through Shared Faith
Couples who practice their faith through regular church attendance tend to report that they have a significantly higher relationship quality as compared to couples who do not attend services together. Not only is doing things together on a regular basis a good idea but going to church together promotes a healthy relationship by giving each person a chance to reflect and appreciate one and other.
Attending Church Services at Fairfax Christ Lutheran
If you are seeking alternative ways to improve your mental health, making the simple choice to opt for Sunday worship can be the best decision you may ever make. Contact Pastor Paul for more information on how Sunday worship services at Fairfax Christ Lutheran can help you improve your mental health, your relationships and your quality of life.