Monday, March 11, 2013


How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

Just one of the numerous parenting books I've read - first since having our third. So, I consider myself an old hat at the parenting book game. I found this one refreshing and different, yet not overly original on the parenting front.
What makes this book different from the wall of parenting books at the library? This book takes an indepth scientific look at the brain. Medina is a brain scientist guy (neuroscientist?), so it makes sense.
This book delves deep into the nitty-gritty details of how baby brains are made; neurons, systosebisistis (or some similar scientific word) all the grey matter connects, how long it actually takes, and what we can do to make things work better. Medina does a great job of taking these very complex topics and putting them into understandable, 'layman's terms'. He throws in some relevant personal anecdotes and research findings (peer reviewed and trustworthy research only).
Medina attempted to give a few guiding principles on how to raise a happy and smart child based on the science he knows about brain growth. However, it felt like one of those books that works well in theory, but, might not prove so well in the real world. The guidance was rather generic and broad, taking into account the wide variety of brains (and personalities) we all have. If you are looking for a specific plan this is not your book.
To sum up his theory - you need to give your baby a stressfree and stable environment, while treating them with empathy...something you've probably run across in other books. The only difference is that this book backs up this theory with hard scientific facts on brain behaviour.
For a parenting book it is very readable and very interesting. I would recommend it. Especially if you only plan on reading a handful of books.


1 comment:

  1. Hmm. Sounds more tolerable than the usual run of parenting book. I reached a point several years ago when I had to refuse to shelve the books in that section of the library. Just reading the titles convinced me that I am a hopelessly incompetent parent and have indubitably warped my boys beyond repair. The only solution was to stay far, far away from parenting books.