So I’m listening to Brain Rules for Baby. I had been listening to No-Drama Discipline, but it was too focused on older kids for it to be useful. Brain Rules seems to be more what I was looking for, though I should have read/listened while pregnant for full benefit.
Right now I’m about halfway through the book and we’re covering how to improve your baby’s intelligence. I haven’t quite gotten to the negative indicators, like tv, so I’m sure that will bring up more to think about, but figured I would write on what I’ve learned so far.
- Thankfully I picked up enough from other sources to not do anything too stupid while pregnant or during her first year. I suspect this has helped her natural intelligence stay higher.
- The first four months were not stressful at all, allowing her to build a stable foundation built on love and security, which is critical. This would not have been true without that maternity leave. Just another reason why we need guaranteed, paid maternity leave in the US for all mothers! It puts our future generations on a path of success instead of struggle. We all benefit from that. Our short sighted view of parenting drives me up a wall, and the science supports doing better. Why are Americans so stupid about these issues that they shoot themselves in the foot for ideology?
- As if I didn’t need another reason to reduce my stress, such as for my own health and sanity, my stress can affect her still. I know my parents were stressed growing up. I learned to be stressed from my mom. I don’t blame her, she was doing the best she could, but I want to do better.
- I need to talk to Melody more. The key is 2100 words per hour. Not distinct words, just to keep talking. I’ve gotten a little better about this, but I need to do more. My wife talks to her a lot more than I do and uses more distinct words than I do. She has no problems just talking about something she learned about that day, or telling Melody about her biology…basically things she knows Mels doesn’t understand. She tells her anyway. I swear, the bulk of this kids intelligence is because of her other mom being awesome, and not because of me.
- I’m going to look into this type of play called Mature Dramatic Play. I need to do a bit more research, because it has mixed results in the minimal googling I did. If anyone has links or book recommendations for how to make sure we’re helping Melody grow through play, I’d appreciate it.
- Ultimately, all the peaceful parenting researching I’m doing is important. I don’t want to be negative, angry, or hurtful. I want to help my kid learn to regulate and make good choices in life. I want to help her brain develop so she has the best base to work from as she can. I have a lot of learning to do because her learning to say ‘no’ (which started last week) and starting the occasional tantrum is not fun for me and leaves me at a loss.
Feel free to share your recommendations in the comments. I actually learn a lot from people’s examples and blogs. Concrete examples are always beneficial for my brain. 🙂