Raising smart and healthy kids
Bright From the Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind from Birth to Age 3 by Jill Stamm Ph.D.
Let me start by saying this is an excellent book filled with essential information for parents of newborns or young children! Although the title indicates that it is about raising intelligent children, the ideas in this book also contribute to emotionally healthy children, (which, in my opinion, is more important.) I have read many of the theories in this book in other books, but all of the books offer their own benefits. The way this one is laid out makes it simple to read and easy to understand. There are also tips for specific age groups at the end of each section, so you can easily refer back to review without re-reading the entire book.
The author focuses on the importance of good parenting to help a baby’s brain develop properly. It’s now known that traumatic experiences in infancy have lifelong effects and can affect a person’s mental health as well as intellectual abilities. Plus, most of the brain is formed within the first three years–specifically within the first year. You can still positively affect a child’s personality after that, but it is much less beneficial. It is best if a child has a warm and nurturing start because those benefits tend to last through life even if things do not go well later on. Stamm emphasizes the importance of attention, bonding and communication with your baby to help him or her develop a healthy mind that allows for intellectual growth as well. It’s a bit scary to learn that your parenting during the first three years will affect your child for life, but it’s also inspiring. It’s not hard to do the right things for nurturing your child–but it is important. Science shows us that babies who receive more attentive and responsive care have different brain scans from babies who are neglected or ignored. Stamm explains why and how to help your child thrive.
Here are the chapter titles:
Part One–The Brain Truth
1. Five “Wow”s Every Parent Should Know
2. “A” is for Attention: Why it Matters
3. Face Time: You Are Your Baby’s First Toy
4. Playtime: The Real Work of Play
5. Screen Time: When Baby Meets Modern Life
6. Downtime: Doing Nothing is Important Too
7. Attention-Builders Little Ones Love
8. “B” is for Bonding: Why it Matters
9. Responsive Care: Tuning In to One Another
10. Hands-on Care: Introducing Vitamin “T”
11. Child Care: How to Make a Brain-Based Choice
12. Bond-Builders Little Ones Love
13. “C” is for Communication: Why It Matters
14. Everyday Talk: Thank Goodness It’s Cheap!
15. Everyday Reading: Dr. Seuss Had It Right
16. Everyday Music: Mozart Myths and Facts
17. Communication-Builders Little Ones Love