What’s the most important phase of life?

A Mini Parenting Master Class from UNICEF and Sesame Street.

What’s the most important phase of life? Join Dr. Pia Britto, UNICEF's Chief of Early Childhood Development, and her friend Grover from Sesame Street to find out!

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Video transcript of "Mini Parenting Master Class: What’s the most important phase of life?"

 

Pia: “Hello there, I am Dr Pia Rebello Britto, a scientist at UNICEF where we work to help babies’ brains develop.”

Grover: “And it is I, your cute and adorable pal, Grover!”

Pia: “And Grover is going to help me explain how we make sure babies grow up to be smarter, stronger and kinder…because that’s what they do on Sesame Street every day.”

Grover: “I thought we were going to talk about this little baby seedling!

Aww! See how cute it is! Yes, you are! Yes, you are!”

Pia: “It looks very healthy, Grover. You must be taking good care of it.” 

Grover: “Oh, I am.”

Pia: “But before we start, I have an important question for you.”

Grover: “What is that?”

Pia: “Do you know, over the whole life of a human being – from when we are babies to grown up adults – what is the most important phase of life?”

Grover: “Dr Pia! Of course I know what the most important phase…”

Pia: “Mmm hmm?”

Grover: “…of life…”

Pia: “Mmm hmm?”

Grover: “…is.” 

Pia: “I’ll help you out.

The most important phase of life is the first few years when you are a child. That’s when the brain grows really fast – faster than any other time in our life. The brain makes [more than 1 million] new connections every second! In fact, some believe that more than 80% of the brain is formed by the time a child turns three.”

Grover: “Wait. You are saying that my little furry monster brain did all of that? Before I was even three? I’m even smarter than I knew haha!”

Pia: “You absolutely are! But the brain can only do this when it gets nutritious food, play time, lots of love and security… That’s ‘eat, play, love’!” 

Grover: “Yes, well that is easy, Dr Pia! I eat, play and love every day with my friends on Sesame Street.”

Pia: “And that’s why you’re helping me out! A brain of a child is not that different from a seedling.”

Grover: “Wait, what do you mean?”

Pia: “They both need to be fed!

Did you know that more than half of each meal goes to build a baby’s brain? All that energy sparks the brain connections.”

Grover: “Just like the little seedling here needs lots of water…

Oh, you have some water. Yeah, and soil and sunlight so it can grow big and strong!”

Pia: “Exactly. So if the seedling doesn’t get water and sunlight, it won’t blossom.

The next is play. Talking, singing, cuddling, playing with a young child is not just fun, it’s also important to fire up those brain connections.” 

Grover: “Oh, I know how to play!

Tag! You’re it!”

Pia: “Lastly, babies need love – lots of love and a safe, happy environment to thrive.” 

Grover: “Oh yeah, love. I will put you by my window where you will sit in the warm sun and be happy and safe – and have a great view of Sesame Street too!”

Pia: “So, in other words, babies grow and learn through everyday moments. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of nutritious food, playtime and lots of love – loving babies, that’s what they need to be healthy and strong.”

Grover: “Yes, just like how this cute baby seedling will someday grow into a big, beautiful flower!”

Pia: “And when each flower is cared for, Grover, we have a beautiful garden. 

So, please join Sesame Street and UNICEF in making early moments matter to give the little ones in your life the best start!”

Grover: “The best. You deserve it, after all.”


Dr. Pia Britto is UNICEF's Chief of Early Childhood Development. Filmed with Grover from Sesame Street.