Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina : My takeaways

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Reading this book was really a breeze. Managed to finish in couple of days with fixed early morning reading.  It is not jargon at all, and it did provide me with valuable insights on how to deal with my toddler at home.  The two most important insights i took away from this book are :

1. Any person in this life is as happy as stable his emotional connections are. It is really imperative that a parent put the child’s emotions in the centre stage and work around accordingly.

2. Empathy is a must when dealing with toddlers. Help them label their emotions. It will help them to deal with big emotions in a balanced way. In order to do this, it is important for parents to practice empathy in everyday life and start labeling their emotions.

I’d like to put an example with my daughter Saanvi, which i put into practice after reading this book. My daughter since very small, has his habit of going awake until her scheduled sleep time is over. After that, she creates a small scene and cries nonstop. She cannot understand that she is tired and she is sleepy. She needs to sleep immediately. Instead, for every single thing, she falls on the ground, get irritable and goes crazy. I used this technique after I finished reading the book.

This round she started going crazy, I told her – “you know what this is called? this is called getting sleepy. You should get some sleep”. She still did pretty awful things – but she definitely calmed down and after a while she asked me – “So, am i getting sleep now? Is that why i am behaving like this?!! I will go to sleep now”. Haha, and she slept much earlier than the previous circus drama routine.

Another example. As we have summer around, I stopped using hot water for her bath. When I started using cold water, she was fine in the initial days. One day, she suddenly decided that water was too cold for her. The next day, I planned to make a trip to my mom’s house. I did have water mixed up with both hot and cold – but she just refused to come inside the bathroom. I started in my usual way, trying high and low to get into bathroom. Suddenly, the lecture on empathy dawned on me. What if she is scared? I stopped talking,went to her, took her in my arms and asked – “Are you afraid the water is still cold”. She had tears in her eyes and a fearful expression in her face. I am glad i did that. It still took me good 10 minutes to get her into bathroom but after my question, things were working my way rather than against my way.

Your kid’s emotions are the most important things you will deal with, throughout your life. If you want to be a better parent, THERE IS NO SHORTCUT.  Studies show that if your 30% of interactions are full of empathy, your kid will surely turn out better.  Generally speaking, help them out to label their emotions.  Take time and learn to label your emotions too.

Another important takeaway from this book is, the way of disciplining the kid. When you tell your kid not to behave in a certain way – that must be followed by 2 things : Why and what is the kid is supposed to do then. Just yelling and telling them to do because you told them will only work in the exterior. It will not arouse their moral compass.  Once you consistently apply this, the kid will have the reasons engrained in their mind. Next time, even if you are not around – the sentences you speak regularly will originate from their mind. That is what you want, isn’t it? Kids don’t get it the first time – it will need consistent application of the same principles again and again.

The behavior your kid will get by the age of 5 will be the maximum contribution you will be making in their life. Isn’t it true – because now whatever we speak is THE TRUTH for them, and their brains start hardwiring in a particular way.

Effective parenting needs patience and practice. I would like to end my review with the most favorite quote from the book which says – Kids give a lot than they receive.

Have a good day and keep rocking!!

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