We know that blasting Mozart into your belly or plopping your little one in front of an Einstein DVD isn’t going to make Ivy League attendance more likely.
But we do know a lot about how infants learn, the kind of information they seek, and especially how their minds grow and change through our relationship with them. Of course, the objective isn’t really Harvard — when I say “smarts,” what I mean is that we want our kids to develop emotional skill, follow their interests, and learn how to focus and work hard towards something they care about.
If it sounds like a tall order for such a small person (indeed, this post is about infants, who may still be working on how to sit up or string together vowel-consonent babble) I promise it’s not. These principles aren’t of the fussy, hyper-parenting, flashcard variety. They are basic ideas about baby brain development — some of which, at the core, actually involve us taking a step back.
Here they are, from my Science of Kids column today, 7 tips for baby brain power:
Follow the links for more on each tip:
1. Resist the bells and whistles. What kinds of toys make for the best road to executive function.
3. Talk less, listen more. The forgotten art of listening and why it’s so important to language development.
4. Lower the white noise. You use it for sleep, but research says when it’s loud it can interfere with auditory and language skills.
5. Acknowledge more than you praise. You’ve heard this a lot lately — here’s how it applies to babies.
6. Dolls for him, trucks for her. How we subtly move our girl and boy babies’ brains in different directions.
7. Everybody get low. Why the floor is your baby’s go-to place.
Read the full article, including all 10 tips for boosting baby smarts in my Babble column.
Do you have any to add? Please share!