Parents, Read Brain Rules for Baby

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Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina is an excellent, well-researched book about parenting using the latest brain research – it’s almost as good as his You Tube videos where he elaborates on the brain function with hilarious skits and easy-to-follow information.

Why Parents Should Read Brain Rules for Baby

Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and dad, isn’t selling you a program of classical music or videos – in fact, he would argue that those are not-effective and in the case of videos, damaging. He’s broken down the science behind the brain and made it easy for us non-scientists to grasp.

Let’s look at a few of Medina’s basic brain rules:Brain Rules for Baby

  1. The brain cares about survival before learning
  2. Intelligence is more than IQ
  3. Face time, not screen time
  4. Praise effort, not IQ
  5. Guided play — every day
  6. The brain craves community
  7. Labeling emotions calms big feelings
  8. Discipline + warm heart = moral kid
  9. Babies are born with their own temperament
  10. Safe baby, smart baby

Practical Tips (printable .pdf)

A few stand-out “a-ha” insights for me:

  • On empathy: “Researchers in the Chicago area showed that musically experienced kids – those who studied any instrument for at least 10 years, starting before age 7 — responded with greased-lightning speed to subtle variations in emotion-laden cues, such as a baby’s cry.”
  • The secret of happiness: George Vaillant found, as he said in the Atlantic, “The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”
  • “Exercise — especially aerobic exercise — is fantastic for the brain, increasing executive function scores anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent.”
  • Don’t say “You’re so smart” to a child because then she’ll think of her success or failure is due to some static ability over which she has no control. Instead say, “You worked really hard” which is a growth mindset that shows the child that they can control their outcomes.
  • “The box the flashcards come in is probably more beneficial to a toddler’s brain than the flashcards themselves.”
  • “Sign language may boost cognition by 50 percent.”
  • Learning a foreign language must involve social interaction, not tapes or videos.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a video of Medina busting some parenting myths:

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2 Responses

  1. hiI DID IT!!! thank God i got them right the 1st time!i made them with the chocolate gahemna..mmmmcmm super good!thanks for your awesome site!

  2. Book Chook says:

    I must admit I suspected those DVDs were mostly hype. Nice to have my suspicions confirmed!

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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