Parents need facts, not just advice, about raising their children. Too bad those facts are difficult to find in the ever-growing mountain of parenting books. And blogs. And message boards, and podcasts, and mothers-in-law, and every relative who's ever had a child. There's plenty of information out there. It's just hard for parents to tell what to believe.
That's why I wrote "Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five." It's based on science that most parents (unless they subscribe to scientific journals) don't get a chance to see. The great thing about science is that it takes no sides -- and no prisoners. Once you know which research to trust, the big picture emerges and myths fade away. To gain my trust, research must first have been published in the refereed literature and then successfully replicated.
Scientists certainly don't know everything about the brain. But what we do know gives parents their best chance at raising smart, happy children.
Surprises in "Brain Rules for Baby" include:
- Why men should do more household chores
- What you do when emotions run hot profoundly affects how your child turns out
- Why you shouldn't praise your kid's intelligence
- The amount of TV kids under two should watch
- The best predictor of academic performance
Know the answers? Test yourself in the video "The Parent Quiz." In the first half, you'll watch a dad, Michael, deal with the baby crying, the wife sighing, and the goldfish dying. In the second half, I give a "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"-style quiz:
More videos detail key insights from the book, from how to deal with temper tantrums to the benefits of breast-feeding.
Nature and nurture may be split 50-50. But there's a great deal parents can do with the influence they have.
Follow John Medina, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/babybrainrules