What is learned in the cradle is carried to the grave! Things parents of children under 3 years old should watch out for when parenting.


In Japan, we have the proverb, “What is learned in the cradle is carried to the grave!” This means that what children learn before they are 3 years old will remain with them for the rest of their lives. During the Edo period, people believed that one’s way of being is determined by the time they are 3 years old.

These proverbs show the importance of early education and teaching your child as much as possible before they turn 3 years old. In this article, we will share tips that parents should keep in mind when raising their child within the first few years.

三つ子の魂百まで! 3歳までの子育てで親が注意したいこと

Research why early education is important!

In general, a child’s body growth continues until he/she is 18 or 20 years old. However, 80% of one’s brain growth is completed by the time a child turns 3 and 90% of his/her brain growth is completed by the time he/she is 6 years old. This means that one’s personality and thought pattern is determined by the time a child turns 3 years old.

From the olden days, Japanese people have believed that how children were raised in their first years will have a great impact on their future personality. A famous Japanese proverb says “emotions are developed by one’s 3rd birthday, manners are developed by one’s 6th birthday, words by one’s 9th birthday, writing by one’s 12th birthday and one’s principals as an individual are developed by one’s 15th birthday.

The proverb, “What is learned in the cradle is carried to the grave”, has also been proved by research performed at the University of Minnesota. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have interviewed more than 260 parent and child pairs over many years. The results show that the majority of children who had tantrums and were aggressive towards others experienced negative parenting when they were young.

The basics of good parenting when one’s child is under 3 years old are: “praise”, “keeping your child company” and “avoiding denial”!

By the time a child turns 3 years old, his/her compassion and endurance, manners and life rhythm and basic lifestyle are developed. In order to raise a child that is patient and thoughtful it is important that parents act as a role model and show these traits in their daily lives.

If you want your child to show interest in reading and English (foreign language), you should also show interest in these subjects and enjoy performing them with your child.

Also, as the research from the University of Minnesota shows, how parents interact with their child during these years is very important. If children feel that they are no good when they are growing up they will most likely take these feelings with them when they get older. So it is important that parents do what they can to make their child feel good about themselves.

As a result, it is important that parents praise their child instead of acting negatively toward their actions. Parents should follow their child’s interests and join them in the activities when possible. This will help children feel that they are being loved and feel good about themselves.

One’s subconscious is also developed at the age of 3! Parents need to be careful about the following!

By the time a child turns 3 years old, his/her subconscious (the foundation of his/her thoughts and actions) is developed. If parents do not show particular feelings to what is happening around them their children will do the same. However, if parents continue to ask their child why things happen, he/she will develop a proactive thought pattern.

So, it is important that parents do not take actions that they do not want their child to copy while their child is in the room. In particular, they should avoid making negative comments about others while they are with their child.

3歳で潜在意識も形成される! 親の行動にも注意が必要