Brain-Based Parenting

by Janice Barnett, Infant/Toddler Specialist

Children learn by example. There are ten things you can do every day for yourself and your child. Use these tips to help your child develop positive and healthy habits.


Brain-Based Parenting

Basic brain maintenance for our children, and for us, means making a specific effort, every day, to help our children’s brains work normally. Dr. Ingraham [of the American Academy of Pediatrics] urges parents to teach their children every day, by example as well as by communication, so that they develop positive and healthy habits and lifestyles, now and for the future. Children learn best by example. Following are ten things you can do every day for yourself and your child:

Bed on time: Sleep is brain restoration time. The brain’s systems do not function very well without sleep.

Normal nutrition: The brain requires normal nutrition to develop normally and replenish the brain’s chemicals.

Regular exercise: Endorphins are the brain’s built-in stabilizers. Exercise and physical work stabilize the brain’s systems, especially the emotion response and mood regulation systems.

Regular outdoor time: Being outdoors is therapeutic. We humans were not meant to be indoors all the time.

Regular chores and responsibility: Teach your child how to work. Work keeps a child connected to the reality of life. Teaching a child by example how to work helps the brain develop normally. The opportunity to learn to work is crucial. Children who never work never mature.

Tie all privileges to responsibilities: This keeps the child connected to the reality of life, and what life requires for success.

No exposure to violence, in any form: Violence in the family, violence in the environment, violence in TV, videos, video games and movies. Repeated and continual exposure to violence, whether in person or in the media, reprograms the child’s primitive brain systems. We want to maintain the normal ecology of our children’s brains.

No exposure to greed, extravagance, explicit sex: These are major problems with the media and our value systems, both of which have disconnected our children from reality.

Simplify your life and your family’s life: Make your family’s life more personal and less driven.

Get in tune with your real values and priorities: Get off the rollercoaster of materialism.

Brain-Based Parenting. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. English.