The book “Brain Rules for the Baby” written by John Medina has excellent advice to parents. There are so many great tips, rules and ideas that it was very difficult to pick just three. Since I decided to stick to only three doable ideas from a book that I read that apply to my current situation which at the time of this blog entry is to raise a 4 year old, I am listing out only three. There are many more from where these 3 came from and so this book will be a reference book for me.
1. Let your kid play imaginative games
The type of games that John Medina suggest that your kid play are the non-structured ones that do not follow a script. This is one of the ways to make your kid smarter. As soon as I heard this advice, I recalled the movie Toy Story where Andy, the kid is shown playing many imaginative games with his toys. So, the Toy Story series will give you a clear idea as to what these types of games are. That way you will encourage your kid to play more of these games.
2. Praise your kid for the effort rather than for the result.
Praising for the result makes the kid think she is smarter and so by default she should get good grades. So, when faced with a tough subject where she does not get a good grade then she may think she is not smart or not try hard enough. I watched John Medina’s speech at Google Talks where someone asked a very good question related to this topic. What if the kid gets a good grade without putting much effort and you praise the effort? John Medina’s answer was right on the money. He said if that happens more than once then you need to raise the bar so that your kid does not get a good grade without putting in some effort.
3. Help your kid build strong relationships.
To raise a happier kid, John Medina suggests that you provide her opportunities to make lots of friends. This is the same advice that Tony Hsieh gave in his book “Delivering Happiness”. The depth and breadth of our relationships is also a factor in your happiness. So, any play date or a birthday party that your kid wants to go to then take time to make that happen if you want to raise a happier kid.
Overall this is a great book based on a lot of research on brain and child development. I downloaded this book from Audible.com and enjoyed listening to John Medina animatedly read out the book. This is the best way to complete the book. So, let John Medina read you this book as he has such enthusiastic voice that it feels like he is talking to you rather than reading a book.