Brain Rules for Baby

  • by John Medina
  • Narrated by John Medina
  • 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

What’s the single most important thing you can do during pregnancy? What does watching TV do to a child’s brain? What’s the best way to handle temper tantrums? Scientists know.
In his New York Times best seller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina told us how our brains really work—and why we ought to redesign our workplaces and schools. Now, in Brain Rules for Baby, he shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to 5. This book is destined to revolutionize parenting. Just one of the surprises: The best way to get your children into the college of their choice? Teach them impulse control.
Brain Rules for Baby bridges the gap between what scientists know and what parents practice. Through fascinating and funny stories, Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and dad, unravels how a child’s brain develops--and what you can do to optimize it.You will view your children—and how to raise them—in a whole new light.
You’ll learn:

Where nature ends and nurture begins
Why men should do more household choresWhat you do when emotions run hot affects how your child turns out
TV is harmful for children under 2
Your child’s ability to relate to others predicts her future math performance
Smart and happy are inseparable
Pursuing your child’s intellectual success at the expense of his happiness achieves neither
Praising effort is better than praising intelligence
The best predictor of academic performance is not IQ. It’s self control
What you do right now—before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and through the first five years—will affect your children for the rest of their lives.
Brain Rules for Baby is an indispensable guide.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Neuroscience for the nursery

If you are pregnant or planning a family, I thoroughly recommend this book, which accessibly presents,the latest in research concerning the development of intelligence, happiness, and good behavior in children.

If you, like me, are already the parents of a child old enough, to run, jump, count to 10, and arbitrarily meet at least half of your parental requests with an indignant "NO!", then I also thoroughly recommend this book-- with a bit of a disclaimer: brace yourself before reading. The "rules" in question amount to a pretty tall order, and he doesn't exactly mince his words about the possible effects of not following them.

The first priority of any brain, he points out, is not to learn. It is to be safe. This has been the goal of our brains since the earliest days of human evolution, and the vestiges of ancient evolutionary pressures and needs remain with us still. Stemming from this understanding, and supported by research, Dr. Medina recommends that parents place a high priority on marital harmony, empathic discipline, stress reduction during pregnancy, and avoidance of "hyperparenting".

Second, humans are deeply social creatures-- this means that we learn best by being held, spoken to often, sung to, and read to-- it also means turning off the cell phones, computers and TV, and engaging in imaginative "guided play" on a daily basis.

This is a good book, and I am compelled to apply Dr. Medina's recommendations to my own parenting practice.

I would, however, suggest two more books, for the sake of balance. The first is "Into the Minds of Babes" by Lisa Guernsey, which offers more research specifically relating to TV, and which I believe presents a more balanced view.

The second is "The Shelter of Each Other" by Mary Pipher, which offers a more holistic, anthropological perspective on many of these issues-- which considers the experience of the parents and the culture as well, and in which the "Voice of Science" is a little less... imperious.
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- cynthia

This Book Surprised Me

Where does Brain Rules for Baby rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I love when you stumble upon an educational book that is just as entertaining as it is informative. Before this book I never would have thought neurons and brain chemistry would be so much fun to read about. I laughed out loud several times but more importantly I learned how my baby's brain is developing, why she does the crazy things she does, and I received lots of practical parenting advice that I could put into effect same day.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Brain Rules for Baby?

Author John Medina, a parent himself, understands what we want for our kids...to be smart and to be happy. He breaks down both citing extensive research studies and applying them to real-life parenting practices. He is specific, not just reminding us how to be more empathetic parents, but how we can actually shape the conversations we have with our kids for the best results.


Any additional comments?

The production quality is poor compared to most (maybe all) of the books I have but don't let it dissuade you from downloading. John Medina's voice and mannerisms sound an awful lot like comedian Lewis Black but not as extreme. For me, it added to the entertainment value. He is definitely not a trained narrator but I found him so likable it didn't matter. I gave the performance 3 stars only for the poor sound production.

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- Christie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-03-2010
  • Publisher: Pear Press