Tuesday, March 13, 2018

EL Reading for Parents: Bright from the Start

Recently I posted my Maternity Reading List.  I've been making my way through and trying to write short little reviews.  The next on the list was Bright from the Start by Jill Stamm.

This was another book I really enjoyed.  There was a lot of science and research behind the information, which is always encouraging, especially in a family of science nerds.  I also really liked how the author focuses on practical tips for what the parent should actually DO with the information.  She gives ideas for very manageable games to play and activities to do with babies and young children that take advantage of the developmental research.  It is very reader friendly and un-intimidating. 

Some Take Home Messages:
Notes: most of the information I have read other places, but the scientific evidence to back them up is reassuring, as well as the practical applications.

  • Face to face, direct interaction with babies is critical
  • No screen, audio or toy can replicate the benefits of directly interacting with caregivers
  • Focused attention, strong bonding moments and development of communication encompass all early learning

Thursday, March 8, 2018

EL Reading for Parents: How Smart is Your Baby

Recently I posted my Maternity Reading List.  One of the books I included, even though I had already read a few years ago was How Smart Is Your Baby? by Glenn and Janet Doman.  To be fair, I did not reread it cover to cover, but reread all of the introductory chapters and those pertaining to the first couple of stages of development.  As the baby develops, I'll go back and reread the next appropriate chapters.

I really like that this book has a lot of research behind it.  I have many online friends who have used some of the Doman methods with their kids with wonderful success.  I also attribute a lot of Doman's philosophies to how I was able to get Xander to learn to read at such a young age, as well as a lot of his other learning.  I am excited to start applying some of the research and philosophies to teaching the new little one, once he arrives.

However, I will also say that this book is INTENSE.  A full Doman program requires a lot of work, some of which I'm not super comfortable doing with a newborn several times a day.  I do not intend to do EVERYTHING suggested, nor as often as suggested.

That being said, there is a lot of valuable information in the book and I am grateful for the resource.  I actually bookmarked three sections that I want my husband to read before baby, also.  We will apply a lot of the strategies as long as we find they are working for baby and for us.

Some Take Home Messages:
  • Mothers are the best nurturers and teachers for newborns (makes sense, who could possibly care more that mom and dad?)
  • Babies/children want to learn and just need the right experiences and environment to make it happen
  • Learning should be enjoyable for both parent and baby

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

EL Reading For Parents: The Whole-Brain Child

Recently I posted my Maternity Reading List.  While I am still excited to get through the whole list, life and exhaustion have slowed me down a little (that's ok, I'll have lots of late night reading time when I'm feeding a baby).  The next one I read was The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson.

This book focuses more on the emotional development of kids.  Each chapter focuses on one aspect of how the brain develops and how that impacts behavior and emotions.  It has tips on how to respond to different types of situations to help get the kid through it.  Then at the end of the chapter there is a section that you use to teach your kids about the concept and a section on how to integrate the knowledge into your own life.

All in all, I thought it was a good book and could see how it could be very useful.  However, having a psychology degree and being a parent already, I felt like a lot of the information I either knew already or felt kind of like common knowledge.  I did find myself wanting to share concepts and ideas with my husband, since he has not parented before and is a bit more stoic when it comes to the emotions department.

Some Take Home Messages:
  • Children have developing brains, and sometimes truly are unable to regulate their emotions and behaviors
  • Handle the emotions first/in the moment and then come back with logic and reason afterwards
  • Help children name their emotions to make them seem more manageable
  • When children are hyper-focusing on one thing that is bringing them down, help them visualize all the parts of their days/lives that contribute to their "self"
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