By – Tracey Clayton
Human brain is one of the most powerful organs in our bodies, it controls everything from movement, breathing, speaking and thinking. It works both consciously and subconsciously. The brain never stops learning, but from the age of three to adolescence it absorbs information more easily and quickly. The brain is very similar to muscles, it is a “use it or lose it” organ, so like muscles you have to train it. During this age the brain goes through a lot of changes physically and because of that it is very responsive and receptive at that time. This means that through certain methods parents can influence their child’s brain development.
It starts in the womb
If a woman keeps care of herself while pregnant, it increases chances of having a problem free pregnancy and having a healthy baby. Visit a doctor to get screened for underlying conditions that could potentially lead to problems. During pregnancy a woman is eating for two, but she only needs around 300 calories extra a day. Protein rich diet is important but certain care needs to be taken with undercooked meat and eggs, also with seafood which can contain bacteria that might hurt baby’s health.
Say no to vices
No alcohol during pregnancy. Even as little as one drink a day can increase your child’s chances of having problems with speech, learning abilities and attention span. No illicit drugs, they also enter fetus’ bloodstream through you. Studies have shown that using drugs can lead to newborns having restricted growth and developmental problems. Cigarettes and caffeine can also be very harmful for child’s health and their consumption should be limited.
The right environment
A child’s brain needs to be stimulated to develop properly. It needs to be safe, and it needs to be nurtured and loved. A child should be talked to even during infancy so it starts acquiring language skills early. Childs coos should be responded to with vocalization. Language part of the brain needs input, it is recommended to slowly talk in syllables while talking to infants. Besides acquiring language skills a child’s brain will also grow socially and emotionally.
The power of touch
Since babies don’t have language skills required to communicate they do that through touch and body language. So it is very important that they receive a daily dose of attention, hugs and kisses not just through infancy but through the entirety of their childhood. Doing this will help the parts of the brain associated with emotions.
Importance of sleep
Sleep is of utmost importance for development of the brain during the life, and even more during the kids’ development. Getting at least eight to ten hours of sleep is important for a child, it allows the brain to recharge.
For a brain to be healthy it needs to be fed healthy, so it can develop the right way. A diet of foods rich in Omega3’s (fish, eggs and nuts) is very important, it will help with acquiring new skills and help with concentration.
Most of the child’s time is spent in playing and having fun. Parents can also use this time to help their kid’s brains develop properly. Motor functions can be developed and improved through activities such as playing catch, running and bike riding. While games that include memory, concentration and imagination are best used to improve cognitive functions of the brain.
Learn them to pay attention
Teaching kids to pay attention at class and take notes of what is important is good practice. They can later revise on the lesson. They should be taught to take study breaks, it will keep their brains firing on all cylinders and keep their concentration at a high level, so they won’t struggle with writing down those fifth grade physics notes when it comes to it.
Since we learn our whole life it is important to teach a kid how to learn something. Playing memory games with kids can improve their short term and long term memories and develop their learning methods. If those memory games are played with words it can help child’s reading and listening skills.
For a child’s brain to reach its full potential it needs to be stimulated the right way. It needs to be challenged the right way, and it needs training. Parents can greatly influence that by setting the right environment.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate for writing. She is contributor on High Style Life and her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on Facebook.