5 fun ways to build your child’s brain

Posted on November 27, 2015

Photo source: Flickr

As parents, we face emotionally intense moments with our kids. When your 6-month-old wakes every two hours through the night. When your 5-year-old kicks you in the shin because it’s bedtime. When your teenager disrespects you for setting limits on technology.

Enter survival mode. As parents, we’ve all been there. Since every child and developmental stage is different, some techniques that work with one child may not work with another. That’s why parenting from a posture of emotional safety matters more than any one technique.

So what’s the key to nurturing our child’s budding brain, especially in these emotionally stressful moments? In short, the answer is you. And not just your physical presence, but your emotional presence.

Here are five fun ways to build your child’s brain each day:

1. Take Time Each Day to Be a Kid Again
While there are many different ways to play, unstructured relational settings present the greatest potential for brain development. Take at least 20 minutes each day to peel back all of your adult-ness, explore with your kids, and celebrate what you discover together. Keep it uninterrupted and let your child lead it.

2. Tell Family Stories
Mealtime is ripe for brain growth. One way to complement mealtime instead of staring at screens is to tell your kids stories about their family history.

3. Give Your Child the Gift of Boredom
Research shows people really dislike being alone with nothing but their thoughts. So much so, they would rather administer an electrical shock to themselves instead of being left alone to think for six to 15 minutes.
Don’t amuse your kids into a creative impotence. Constant amusement actually inhibits their creativity and imagination. In fact, research suggests that 15 minutes of boredom may not only allow for creative thinking, but also leads people to seek meaning and exploration.

4. Ask Yourself One Question
Whenever your kids are emotionally overwhelmed, ask yourself, “How can I respond in an emotionally safe way so my child knows he is loved?”
Connecting and talking with our children is critical to brain development. Kissing a boo-boo or giving him a bear hug after a rough day at school isn’t just an act. Endorphins are released in the brain which help our child feel happy and relaxed while reducing physical and emotional pain.
On the contrary, if we’re harsh, inconsistent, or dismissing, we teach him that people will not be there when he needs them most. Win your child’s heart at an early age and you can influence behavior for life.

5. Prioritize Eye Contact over iContact
Do your kids know you genuinely enjoy dancing with them more than staring at your phone? Be okay with being the creepy adult who dances in front of the window at seven in the morning.

Follow the link below to read the article in full.

Category(s):Child Development, Parenting

Source material from The Washington Post

Mental Health News