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

by John Medina (Read by)

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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 5. 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 child turns out
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780979777769
Publisher: Pear Press
Publication date: 10/19/2010
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John Medina is a developmental molecular biologist and research consultant. He is the author of the long-running New York Times bestseller, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. He is an affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also the director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University. Medina lives in Seattle, WA, with his wife and two boys.

Table of Contents

brain rules i

Introduction 1

Parenting purpose is brain development

The importance of being selective about science

Why do we need parents anyway?

Five inescapable questions

pregnancy 19

Four things that improve a baby's brain development

Is morning sickness a good thing?

When your baby can hear you, smell you

The effects of severe stress

relationship 55

Bundle of joy? Yes but...

The four biggest reasons you'll fight

Guys, get out the vacuum cleaner

Two steps to a relationship that's good for baby

smart baby: seeds 89

8000 neurons per second!

The brain cannot learn unless it feels safe

What does "smart" mean?

Seven types of intelligence

Every brain is wired differently

smart baby: soil

The best kind of playroom

Talking to your child improves IQ

How to raise cognition scores by 5o%

TV before age 2

The harm in hyper-parenting

happy baby: seeds 159

Could happiness be genetic?

Where emotions happen in the brain

Magical mirror neurons

Emotions and logic are not as separate as you think

happy baby: soil 189

The secret to happiness

Using empathy to calm your child's nerves

The one parenting that works

moral baby 219

Are babies born moral?

The three-legged stool of discipline

Kids lie a lot (every two hours, by age 4)

Explaining your rules

conclusion 253

practical tips 261

acknowledgements 277

index 278

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Dr. Medina hits the nail on the head with 'Brain Rules for Baby.' We are always looking for ways to make our kids smarter, better, happier. Medina gives such practical, usable advice and tips."
- 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

Customer Reviews

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Brain Rules for Baby 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read for any parent to be or new parent. It offers a lot of scientific insight into how your little one is experiancing this huge new world.
JeffNewman More than 1 year ago
Not only does the book give you advice about raising a great child it give you the reasons why. You find that a big key is EXPLAINING to your child why decisions are made, or why you have certain feelings. He also includes research studies (take from them what you will) that back up his ideas. Perhaps the best quality of this book is the EXPLANATIONS as to why treating your children certain ways will influence how they grow. He starts from the ground up, giving you a good understanding of the inner workings of the brain and how it naturally develops then gives examples of different parenting ways and how each can cause a child's mentality to evolve later on down the road.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to anyone. It uses only scientific research that has passed the authors "grump test;" it eloquently details how this research can be used to develop more informed parental choices.
BenjaminHahn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was very informative and fun to read. There were many laugh out loud moments. The author presents current neuroscience research in very readable and applicable ways. Amber and I feel that we will be better parents after having read this. A lot of the advice seems easy to apply with some practice. Key points I want to remember:-Be empathetic-Acknowledge and respond to emotions in your children and your partner-Communicate with your partner and your baby ¿ Talk a lot-Rules must be consistently enforced between both parents. Punishment must be swift and its rationale must be explained.-Incorporate music and learning into all aspects of your child¿s life if possibleRecommended for (this was too long for the slot below): -Parents-Expecting parents-People planning to be parents one day-Anyone looking for a potential life partner to raise children withSpecial note: For most of the book, I read this out loud to Sebastian and Amber while Sebastian was in the NICU.
EmreSevinc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've just finished reading the book and I think that Dr. John Medina provides a very solid account of early child development which is based on brain science. I can say without a moment's hesitation that I'm more than happy to have found such a highly readable book from a developmental molecular biologist focused on the genes involved in human brain development and the genetics of psychiatric disorder. Not only does Medina know his field very well but he is also the father of two boys and he doesn't hesitate to blend his personal memories with well-established as well as up-to-date research without becoming academically dry and dull or boringly personal. As soon-to-be father with a cognitive science background I can only appreciate such a powerful combination of these qualities.Almost every question that the book exposes and tries to answer is either a central question in my life or it'll be within a few years: "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?" and others such as the relationship of empathy and consistency to the developing brain structures which shape our kids' future lives.The summary section at the end of each chapter as well as an overall summary at the end of the book turns the book into a great source as a quick reference for mothers and fathers `working in the field' (I beg your pardon for the analogy, I just couldn't resist it ;-) . And for those skeptics out there with an academic / scientific background, the book itself does not include a single reference to another book or article; all of the references are moved to the online document at the accompanying web site. 63 pages of references to the scientific literature for your discovery pleasure and further reading. I would heartily recommend this wonderful book to any parent who wants to learn more about their child's development and do so by relying on well-established scientific results.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book October of 2013. The review written by JeffNewman, March 22, 2011 is extremely accurate. I could not say it better. I loved this book and because I don't want to lend it out, I am buying another copy of this book to share among my friends! This book has been so useful and I have learned so very much from it.
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