Thursday, 6 October 2011

Have You Read Brain Rules For Baby?

Image from google
I have just finished Brain Rules For Baby by John Medina from the library. It takes forever for me to read non-fiction books but this took 2 days which is roadruner speed already.

There are many books like his in the market with similiar studies and results but his book is different because:

Fact  No.1: John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist aka brain scientist who looks like Santa Claus which in my opinion makes him very likeable.

See what I mean?
Image from Google
Fact No 2: He has a flair for witty writing and funny in a warm manner. This means you are unlikely to fall asleep while reading.

Fact No 3: He sounds like the perfect textbook father from his anecdotes which makes me want to marry him..hehe..

Note: Most of the studies done are small scaled independent studies, meaning you should interpret the results with some reservations.

Certain points that I agree with and felt compelled to share:

1. Preborn baby products DON'T work.
I tried telling the Doman salesperson but she wouldn't listen. Flashing cards to my pregnant belly? I tried really hard not to laugh but I did.

2. Leave your baby alone for the first half of the pregnancy.
I did play Mozart and nursery rhymes (via headphones) to him during the later part of the pregnancy because he seemed to enjoy it. There was some kinda connection that I felt which is hard to explain. I also read to him a lot, which generated less excitement and kicks.

Pregnant ladies who want smarter babies:
i. Just eat right because even though a larger baby is cuter but they have higher intrapartum complications which may lead to oxygen deprivation and brain injury.
This is a no brainer.

ii. Exercise moderately:
 God, so easy to say, so hard to do

iii. Reduce stress:
This was a joke during my pregnancy. My poor Tiger was probably soaking in an acidic environment for the entire 9 months due to my previously TOXIC workplace. I have since left that horrible place.

How to have a smarter kid:
1. Breastfeed.
This is only PROVEN method. Increase in IQ by TEN whooping points. Woohoo! It's free too :)

2. Talk a lot to your child.
Portable DVDs and TV don't count. They need to hear your voice and a vast vocabulary

3. Guided play (read Tools of the Mind by Vygotsky)
This I like, a lot

4. Praise effort, not IQ
This has been mentioned in many books. Basically, if you keep telling your kid, "That's so clever" or "You are so smart", they will believe you. The inverse effect of this is they will shy away from challenges in life in order to appear 'smart' and not be stupid. I TOTALLY agree with this, I have experienced it first hand. Sometimes you need to see it in print to get that 'light bulb moment' :)

Whenever someone praise Tiger, I feel irked. How do you tell them to not praise? People will think I am nuts. This is a tough one. So, when my maid say, "Good job" when Tiger puts a raisin into his mouth, she will get a dose from me.

5. Pressuring children to learn subjects they are not ready for is harmful.
Doman? Brillkid? I wanted to ask him this during the talk..hmmm...

6. Television
No TV before the age of 2. Difficult with MIL around especially when she is watching her TVB gossips *faint*
After the age of 5: Watching some interactive shows are good, especially if you watch with them. 
Purple dinosaur: BAD.

There are also some points on empathy and moral baby which are pretty run of the mill stuff, so I won't bore you further.

Once, I was browsing in the DVD corner in MPH when I overheard a father telling his probably 4 year old daughter,"Don't buy that what you call it, ummm, that stupid, big, purple dinosaur thing anymore."

Got the brain rules but wrong delivery method. That's why you have to read parenting books, it's a tough job being a parent and even harder to be a good one. Someone's gotta do it...

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