A recent article in Christianity Today highlights the important role of parents, especially in the first five years of a child's life. The author writes, "The family is the smallest and most powerful unit of human culture—for good or for ill—and exerts its greatest influence during the most rapid and sensitive period of brain development: the first five years. What happens, or does not happen, in the first five years shapes a child's brain physiology and molds her character. Parental nurture can either catalyze or cripple linguistic, cognitive and social development through the use (or neglect) of love and language.
You can access the article here. It is must reading if you are a parent with children under age five.