Parenting Information

The Metamorphosis of The Brain: Raising Your child to be a Brainiac

The human brain never actually stops developing. Beginning formation in early prenatal life (just 3 weeks after conception), the brain's development is a lifelong endevour, endlessly under construction, constantly reshaping and redefining itself based on everyday life and the types of stimulation that we provide for it.

When children receive loving care from a parent, neural connections are formed and strengthened between the brain cells. Warm responsive parents who speak to their kids, cuddle with them and provide challenging learning experiences, promote healthy brain development. But neglectful parents who hardly talk to their children (unless their typical sentence starts with the word "don't") and plop them down in front of the television for hours, on the other hand, are doing their kids's brains a terrible injustice. Babies really do thrive on this interaction much the same way that trees tend to thrive on water and sun. Researchers have discovered that kids who are often talked to by their moms learn nearly three hundred more words by age 2 than kids whose moms hardly spoke to them.

And it would appear that mere exposure to language through TV doesn't quite cut it. Kids need to hear people speak right to them about how they are seeing the world around them.

The biggest difference between the child brain and the adult brain is that the young brain is simply much more impressionable. Here are a few tips to raising a Brainiac: First, be a warm, responsive and loving parent. Respond to your child's perplexities and try to answer his or her questions. It is important to talk, read and sing to your child.

Encourage your child to learn a second language. In addition, establish different rituals and routines. Limit that television watching and encourage safe play and exploration. It is also important to expose your child to as many things as possible. Recognize the uniqueness in each child and choose mentally stimulating child care. And finally, make sure your child gets enough omega-3' fatty acids. For more details about brain function visit Fish Oil and Brain Researchand learn more.

Ryan Joseph is a writer/researcher. For more information go to



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