Posts tagged baby development
A few months ago, I attended a lecture from a speaker who talked to parents about the remarkable nature of brain plasticity. She was a Ph.D., well informed about brain anatomy, who told us that we could achieve almost anything with specific brain training for our children. Then about a week later I read a blog post written by a popular parenting educator that suggested the same thing. I’m sure it won’t be long before someone will be pitching a “Build-a-Brain” business on the ABC television show “The Shark Tank.”
At the opposite end of the spectrum I attended a scientific meeting of neuroscientists and developmental psychologists who are doing research on brain development. It was VERY CLEAR (more…)
When Baby first arrives, most of us spend a lot of time just looking, thoughtfully, at our newborn and wondering “Who are you going to look like?” or more importantly, “Who are you going to act like?” We definitely spend a fair amount of time wondering and waiting for our babies to show us who they are. Let’s just say we let nature reveal itself.
It doesn’t take long before we start thinking more about our plans for Baby rather than Baby’s designs on us. We make plans for our personal contributions to Baby’s self-concept, social development, and learning. Some parents I have interviewed have very specific goals in mind for their infants (Brown University—Class of 2030!), while others are more general (good, kind, generous), or religious (at one with God, faithful to morals and ethics). (more…)
Have you ever wondered why we describe age in terms of days, weeks, and months for the very young but are not so precise after a child reaches the age of 3? Or to take the opposite tack, why are we so vague about the age (or definition for) when adulthood begins? I mean, can your 28 year old, unemployed high-school drop-out younger brother be considered an adult when he’s still at home and Mom and Dad pay all the bills?
There are several reasons age is treated differently over the course of the lifespan. Some of these reasons are based on science, others are mainly cultural. Still other age specifications are designed to meet institutional needs, such as when we start and finish a required amount of schooling—not whether or not we actually got educated during that long and laborious process (see younger brother, above). (more…)
I attended a lecture last week that was very interesting. It was given by Michael Thompson, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who has written several parenting books, including The Pressured Child, the main theme of the meeting. While Dr. Thompson is not an infant specialist, he made a closing remark that I think is relevant for parents at any stage: “Your child is on his or her own journey, not yours.” He urged parents to do two things:
- Let your children have a childhood.
- Don’t use your child’s life as a way of proving your own effectiveness as an adult.
“Easier said than done,” I thought. After all, parenthood is also a journey, and we are learning as we go.
Besides, new parents should get a reprieve for their ego-involvement during Baby’s first year or so of life; it is the parent’s responsibility to guide, protect, and yes, More >
Anyone who has seen the 2004 comedy, Meet the Fockers, starring Robert DeNiro and Ben Stiller will remember the singular obsession of DeNiro’s character. As Jack Byrnes, an uptight former CIA agent and grandfather to Little Jack, he is hell-bent on using “the latest” child development principles to advance his grandson’s development. So when it comes to vocabulary building he takes sign language to a new level using a “drill and more drill” learning approach only to be foiled by his prospective son-in-law’s utterance of a profanity that is readily imitated by Little Jack!
When child development experts recommend talking to your baby, Jack Byrne’s approach is not what the scientific community had in mind. We can all just chill and do a great job of parenting and language development with less obsession. Here are a few ideas: More >
I was reading the opening to a chapter in an excellent book on brain development, (“What’s Going On In There?”) by neurobiologist, Lise Eliot. She recalls how much relief she felt when her baby boy uttered his first word before his first birthday. I thought to myself, “that’s a pretty high bar” for the rest of us. Most babies begin using spoken language around 18 months of age.
As Dr. Eliot continues, it is clear that she is not really bragging, but making a point that might be overlooked by those baby milestone charts. These early months, when baby cannot say a thing are a very important time for us to get to work with our own words for baby. From the moment of their first coo and babble, to the moment they start calling you Mama or Dada, babies are practicing “language usage” in their heads!
If you pay attention, you will More >