Fleur picked up something off the floor, popped it in her mouth, stood up, and met my gaze. She spun around and took off. She knew I was coming for it without me having to say it.
She is about a year from having developed the Theory of Mind. With it, she is able to know what I am thinking about the situation. In the classic situation, a researcher shows putting something in a box. Another moves it while the first is not present. Then the child asked where the first thinks it is located.
The taking off means she knows something of what I am thinking. She just would think I know what she knows.
I loved the Brain Rules book. The original discussed why the brain works the way it does (including the studies) and gave specific activities one can do to boost the efficacy. An example: the brain is a major consumer of oxygen, so scientists have found that intense exercise improves function by getting more oxygenated blood to the brain.
I need to re-read it as it has been a decade. I recently got the baby one.
Having a first child is like swallowing an intoxicating drink made of equal parts joy and terror, chased with a bucketful of transitions nobody ever tells you about.
This is 1,000% true.
As a scientist, I was very aware that watching a baby’s brain develop feels as if you have a front row seat to a biological Big Bang. The brain starts out as a single cell in the womb, quiet as a secret. Within a few weeks, it is pumping out nerve cells at an astonishing rate of 8,000 per second. Within a few months, it is on it’s way to becoming the world’s finest thinking machine.
Some notes I took.
Perception begins at weeks for most senses. And memory persists after birth, but stimulation too early is harmful and later not going to make a genius.
Everything is a balancing act. During pregnancy especially weight, nutrition, stress, exercise.
Chronic or acute stress passes those hormones through the placenta and children seeing it stunt brain growth observing it. Husbands need to keep their wife not stressed. Happy is the ideal, but at least not stressed. This can be 8 IQ points.
Exercise can reduce pushing time and reduce the time baby is without oxygen and reduce stunted brain development.
Kinds of intelligence:
Record information, aka crystallized intelligence.
Desire to explore
Decoding nonverbal communication
Ingredients for happy kids:
a demanding but warm parenting style ( responsiveness & demandingness)
comfort with your own emotions
tracking your child’s emotions (don’t ignore & don’t helicopter)
verbalizing emotions (describe emotions)
running toward emotions (emotions are reflexive; behavior is a choice; be consistent with rules on behavior; turn intense feelings into teachable moments)
two tons of empathy
Behavior modification basic principles.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book. The thing I liked the most about the original was he named a rule and went on about why it is important and the research justifying it. This book lacked that simplistic and novel model, which put me off.