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Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five Paperback – December 6, 2011
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- Nina L. Shapiro, MD, UCLA School of Medicine
"An engaging and fun-to-read translation of the best research on child development and effective parenting. I gave Dr. Medina's book to my own son."
- Ginger Maloney, Ph.D, The Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy
"John Medina uses a very readable and refreshing style to present parenting strategies in the context of factual scientific information."
- Jadene Wong, M.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
"If you've no room for another brain-development title, weed an old one to make room for this. Covering such topics as pregnancy, relationships, and "moral" babies, the book will educate even the most learned parents. Medina's humorous, conversational style make this an absolute please to read."
- Library Journal
"We recommend this book to all of our new-parent groups. With a gift for storytelling, Dr. Medina marries the science with practical advice that helps make sense of it all. Sleep-deprived parents still find time to read Brain Rules for Baby and love it."
- Laura Kussick, Executive Director, Program for Early Parent Support
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Top customer reviews
Brain Rules for Baby is the first book I've read which has actual, substantiated scientific research for WHY we should do things instead of just WHAT. It has great information that has already helped me have a stronger relationship with my wife as we anticipate the arrival of our child. It has also given me immeasurably valuable information for when the baby arrives.
For people who want only the "what" from books, Mr. Medina's website offers loads of valuable information beyond just the "why" contained in the book. Or, there are myriad books intended for idiots (see 'Dude, You're Gonna Be a Dad' - perhaps the worst book I've read in a decade, not just in this genre).
I am looking forward to the arrival of our child, and this book has helped more than I can say.
This book presents empirically-backed information. The research says no, don't let your child watch tv. This is very helpful, because it lets me know the information I need. (Also, the book goes into detail about how the research was obtained, so you can see how the studies were undertaken.)
With so many parents spending so much time and money on trying to raise a happy, healthy child, it helps to have some guidance as to what is worth looking into more. Ok, so children shouldn't watch tv, now I can look past the "Baby Einstein" series and go onto the next thing. This book shows the research on the importance of music in a child's life (playing an instrument). Ok, so now I can look into piano lessons.
When I recommend this book to other parents, I get the dirty looks of "no book can tell you how to raise your child". Yes, or course no book can tell you how to raise YOUR child. But a book can give you some very black-and-white, research backed guidelines on things to pay attention to. Also, once you have the information, you can chose to ignore it, but at least now you have the data needed to make an informed and smart decision.
As a science person, I want to make informed decisions based on data. Decisions for my child are the most important decisions I will make in my life. It's really awesome to have some cold, hard data to help me in my informed decisions.
I will be buying this book for all my pregnant friends from here on out. Also, I have already gone back and referenced specific sections of this book.
Fantastic, awesome, read.
I was looking for a book that gave me insight as to what is going on neurologically in my baby's brain, and then with advice to best approach these different changes.
What I loved about this book was the overall philosophy of empathy and attention, combined with really practical suggestions for behavioral approaches for parents. If you follow the advice in the book, you will be a happier, better person, not just a better parent. The division of each section into the "seed" (what is genetically inheritable) vs the "soil" (the effects of nurturing and environment) was great, making each section easy to understand and access. The suggestions in the soil section I found particularly insightful.
I liked that this book also addressed the parents marriage, an essential but often overlooked aspect of successful parenting.
I loved that the book addressed the "whole" person - not just a breakdown of ages, development stages, behaviours or what have you. The division into happiness, smartness and morality (goodness) reflected this wider perspective and was an approach I found refreshing and authentic.
What I was looking for but didn't find in this book was a more specific age breakdown of how the brain develops and what challenges and opportunities this presents - for example: "at age 2-3, you child is developing the part of the brain that controls will and intent. This may make your child want to do everything their own way, which can be frustrating and result in tantrums. But remember a sense of will is how we achieve things in life and is essential to our development, so here is how you can harness that energy and develop it..... At 4 the higher functioning areas of the brain are developing so you child may enjoy telling long imaginative stories, but they may also start to lie...." And so on. I have yet to find a book that does this. (would love to know if anyone has!)
I rate this book far better than "What's Going On In There" which I found to be quite poorly written (very waffly, points were not made clearly, too verbose), with too much focus on the science of brain development and not enough on application or advice - it made me feel the author was trying to prove she is a clever brain scientist, and my, doesn't she know an awful lot about brains! But I don't think she knows all that much about parenting.
I also tried "Bright from the Start" which I enjoyed and found had some useful suggestions, but ultimately was a bit too generalised in the age groups so much of the advice was the same or similar for all ages, and nowhere near as good at addressing the "whole child", or the "whole parent" for that matter. A good companion book to "Brain Rules" though some of the information (eg. no TV before age 2) is repeated - often because the research is clear and unequivocal.
"Brain Rules" spells out easy to understand steps that you can implement for positive change in your life. It does require that you are already quite an actualised or self aware person - if you are, this book will reinforce your beliefs and give practical advice; if emotions and self reflection have never been important to you, this book may seem vague or impractical. Much of the advice is deceptively simple, even obvious at times - but it can be surprisingly difficult to consistently apply. The great news is that a little goes a long way - even small changes along the lines suggested (such as stopping to consider the child's point of view before speaking or acting in anger) can have a powerful impact. And I would say the title really does not do this book justice. This book is far more than a set of rules, it is an insightful, informative and compassionate guidebook to better parenting, and would make an excellent addition to any parenting library.
Most recent customer reviews
Thank you !!