Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

What’s the single most important thing you can do during pregnancy? What does watching TV do to a child’s brain? What’s the best way to handle temper tantrums? Scientists know.

In his New York Times bestseller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina showed us how our brains really work—and why we ought to redesign our workplaces and schools. Now, in Brain Rules for Baby, he shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. This book is destined to revolutionize parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control.

Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice. Through fascinating and funny stories, Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and dad, unravels how a child’s brain develops – and what you can do to optimize it.

You will view your children—and how to raise them—in a whole new light. You’ll learn:

Where nature ends and nurture begins
Why men should do more household chores
What you do when emotions run hot affects how
your baby turns out, because babies need to feel safe
above all
TV is harmful for children under 2
Your child’s ability to relate to others predicts her
future math performance
Smart and happy are inseparable. Pursuing your child’s
intellectual success at the expense of his happiness
achieves neither
Praising effort is better than praising intelligence
The best predictor of academic performance is not
IQ. It’s self-control
What you do right now—before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and through the first five years—will affect your children for the rest of their lives. Brain Rules for Baby is an indispensable guide.

List Price: $ 15.00

Price: $ 9.24

3 Comments so far »

  1. McMeekins said,

    Wrote on April 2, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Just What We Needed…, January 10, 2012

    This review is from: Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five (Paperback)

    As expecting parents, we’ve been barraged by information and advice regarding how we should parent a child, both in pregnancy and after birth. Navigating through all of the slush to get at some good, hard facts about how babies actually “work” quite simply takes more time than we have to spend. In an ideal world, we’d love to get our hands on the original studies and gain a complete understanding of what academics, physicians, and research institutions know, don’t know, and don’t quite know yet about infant and child development. But without that option, we found Brain Rules for Baby to be exactly the sort of book we were looking for. Medina draws on research from diverse fields and distills the findings into concise, practical conclusions that are often accompanied by short personal illustrations and funny anecdotes. He then expounds on not only what the research means, but also what it doesn’t mean – which to us was just as important. There are a lot of truths floating out there that need confirmation, but also a lot of myths that need breaking. We highly recommend this book to parents, grandparents, childcare workers, or anyone else who has or will have a significant role in a baby’s life.

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  2. GyKev said,

    Wrote on April 2, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    84 of 100 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Brain rules for minding your moppet, March 11, 2011
    GyKev (Ewa Beach, HI) –

    Parents and caregivers strive daily to understand and support the development of their infant or young child. They feel that by having the infant listen to classical music while in the womb or providing a baby with toys and DVD’s dedicated to making them academic all stars, they are setting their children up for future success. They feel helpless when a child seems to be crying uncontrollably or anxious when their youngster does not seem to develop at the same pace as that of a friend’s child. Almost all struggle with the cognitive thought processes and emotional development of a child and feel helpless when they are not sure how to respond to certain scenarios. Enter John J. Medina’s book “Brain Rules for Baby, How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five” as a guidebook for success.
    Doctor John Medina, a famed developmental molecular biologist, tackles many of the issues that parents face dealing with the raising of small children. He lists five separate areas for discussion: pregnancy, relationship with the spouse, smart baby, happy baby, and moral baby and has identified twenty-two brain rules that parents should understand and follow if they desire to raise a healthy and well-adjusted child. Though it may seem daunting to read a book written by a scientist, Medina keeps the technical vernacular to a minimum and utilizes many stories from Internet blogs and his own experiences as a father of two boys.
    The book begins with a look at the development of the child in the womb, with a preponderance of the information covering the physical and emotional development of the child. Medina dispels many of the myths associated with the purchase of brain enhancement devices and provides a general description of how a baby steps through the processes of development. Although much of the information appears to be general knowledge, Medina approaches the topics from a more scientific approach, using case studies and published medical information to affirm his beliefs. Of keen interest is his information on how a stressed mother can actually affect the development of her child’s brain in the third trimester. Medina shows that children born from mothers that had intense stress during this period of pregnancy can have lower IQ scores, problems with motor skill development, behavioral issues, and even have a smaller brain. The information is thought provoking and frightening. He provides steps and techniques to mitigate stress and tips on how the father can assist his wife during this important time.
    In his second category, relationships, Medina tackles a topic that few parents rarely receive enough information about. Medina begins this section by highlighting the fact that happy marriages equate to happy babies. Though the relationship may suffer due to the new edition in the family, Medina offers counsel and suggestion on how new parents can work to keep their marriage strong through love, empathy, and compassion. During this phase of an infant’s development, they are extremely receptive to stressors and challenges in their environment, leading into Medina’s second rule for this topic “the brain seeks safety above all”. He discusses how humans have evolved over centuries and that when parents are constantly engaged in combat with one another the infant’s brain suffers due to the release of stress hormones. He encourages parents that may have an argument in front of a child to make sure that when they apologize, they do so in the baby’s field of vision. By doing so, the infant learns about conflict resolution and witnesses both sides of an altercation. His last statement about relationships “what is obvious to you is obvious to you” further illustrates the need for parents to have active and open communication channels. When one parent expects a certain outcome from the other, they need to ensure they request it be so.
    On the development of a smart baby, Medina contradicts many of popular culture’s perceptions about what a smart baby is capable of. He compels parents to rethink their position on certain aptitude tests, such as the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) assessment. Medina takes a more phased approach to the education of a young mind, highlighting areas such as executive function and impulse control as better predictors of a child’s future intelligence. By incorporating the studies and research of many famed developmental psychologists, Medina challenges the notion that any standardized testing for a young child is misleading and can be potentially harmful. He identifies three key areas that parents need to remember; the brain cares about survival before learning, intelligence is more than IQ, and face time, not screen time. In this topic, Medina empirically states that children should not view any sort of television before the age of two. His rationale for this is sound; television lacks the physical depth of human interaction. A child that views…

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  3. New York, NY said,

    Wrote on April 2, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Good but not great, September 27, 2011

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    I bought this book to understand what I can do to help the mental development of my four month old daughter. I was looking for information such as the type of play or toys that would be most stimulating for her. The book didn’t provide me with many new and implementable ideas (e.g., the small section on play is irrelevant until she is fully communicating). The best thing I took away was ‘absolutely no TV before the age of two’.

    What I liked:
    1. The book is well researched and enjoyable to read. The author provides references and strikes a good balance between mentioning details of the studies and maintaining readability for the average parent.

    2. I liked the very high-level organization of the book: What makes a baby smart? What makes him happy? What makes him ‘moral’? A lot of emphasis is usually put on smarts, and recently a little more on ‘Emotional Intelligence’, but highlighting and addressing all three aspects was valuable.

    3. The book debunks some myths that can save you time and money and your baby from some boredom (e.g., no ‘Baby Einstein’ / ‘Baby Mozart’)

    What I didn’t like:
    1. The proof reading quality of the Kindle edition is embarrassing. There are numerous punctuation mistakes (e.g., 80% of the open quote marks are never closed) and some spelling errors. Not only is the book less readable as a result, it also feels very low quality. Is the book not worth a proper proofing?

    2. The author seems to have had a hard time organizing the content. The top level breakdown (smart/happy/moral) works, as does the next level (genetics vs. upbringing), but further sub-sections are inconsistent and have overlaps. To further illustrate this point, the relatively long ‘conclusion’ chapter attempts to summarize the book with a different structure; it seems that the author couldn’t decide which structure to go with and ended up including both. The internal references and terminology also make it difficult to jump to a section and understand the three things to do to have a moral child.

    3. Much of the content is common sense (be consistent, don’t blow up, explain the rationale behind your rules) or well publicized information (ability to defer gratification is a better predictor of who gets into college than IQ). It’s nice to see the backing research, but the author does not provide sufficient specifics on implementation that would be valuable in practice.

    In summary, it’s a solid book and won’t lead you astray, but I expected more given all the 5-star reviews.

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