The first answer to this question is that both should be properly prepared. The operative words here are “should” and “properly”. With the entourage of adult self-improvement info, it has been made clear that certain words impinge upon our sense of choice and free will, and this is certainly the case with the words ‘should’ and ‘properly’. But children are still learning the endless open-ended possibilities of everything, and that includes these words. The main message here is that, in our attempts to improve our own adult issues and experience the value of newly learned and applied information we give our best efforts in trying to apply newly learned techniques to the children in our lives. But more often than realized we do this without taking into account how it is that young children’s brain are developing and operating.
In order to combine some better definitions of “should”, “properly”, “free will”, “choices” and the differences between child brain development and already developed adult brains – that are still capable of plasticity – we’ll use cake as an analogy. There are thousands of possibilities when it comes to the opportunity of making a cake, there will certainly never be a shortage of choosing a desired flavor and style of cake. The ingredients are equally as flexible and even substitute ingredients can be used to make a cake more conducive to our desires and even health concerns. Then of course, the cake decorating phase has infinite possibilities. Here also, our free will and ability to decide and make choices is an endless proposition. But there is one phase in the cake making process that is generally inflexible and non-negotiable, and it is the step that requires the proper mixing of the ingredients that should result in a smooth batter – which is one of the best conditions for ensuring that the cake will bake well.
There are two important analogies here that are relative to the preschool stage of development that are also non-negotiable. One is that similar to making a cake, there are certain basic ingredients that must be included in the cake batter-making process. At the preschool stage of learning and brain development, there are also certain ingredients that must be included for the foundation of proper cognitive development that will influence a lifetime of learning. Secondly, all of the required elements for preschool, like all of the necessary ingredients for making a cake, there must be a smooth amalgamated mixture that becomes one batter – or one pool of basic learning ingredients – that are smoothly mixed together.
In other words, once a cake’s ingredients are smoothly mixed together, the distinction between eggs and flour and butter, etc, are indistinct, it’s just a bowl of mush. The same goes for the basic cognitive learning elements of the pre-K stage – for the preschool brain, all of the basic cognitive learning ingredients are one whole smooth indistinct mixture of learning elements. In fact, the whole cake making process can be likened to the phases and applications of human brain development and eventual potential, and the multiple possibilities that go into these efforts in conjunction with free will, which is vitally essential to the human development process.
The gathering of the various choice ingredients for the making a cake and the flexibility on the use of ingredients and to some degree the measured amounts of ingredients is similar to the infancy and toddler stages of emotional brain development. The mixing of the cake’s ingredients is relative to the preschool stage. The baking of the cake, its quality, its essence, its basic constitution is relative to the elementary school years of brain development, and this stage is significantly influenced by the preschool stage. So for instance, if you followed the recipe and ingredients for making a cheese cake, however much we may wish, desire or insist it will likely never come out as a chocolate cake. The cooling of the cake for a new phase in the cakes’ total process would be the pre-teen years that is preparing for a completely new phase of the cake making process. The decorating phase of the cake is like the teen years of brain development when the options and possibilities of planning and creatively applying designs with our unique abilities is at hand and ready to receive skillful and very experienced guidance from adults who are already cultivated in the art of critical thinking, decision-making and planning.
Thanks for tuning in, the next blog will discuss more about how free will, decision-making, and intuition are essential to human development, progress, relationships and the application of our abilities.