We hosted our second of three seminars with Margery Healey, The Compassionate Parent Coach, last week on Brain Compatible Parenting. Here are some highlights from the evening…
Primary brain development happens from age 0 to 6, but the brain doesn’t fully mature until age 22-24. The brain is a muscle, so if you exercise it, it does get stronger! Work on it regularly.
5 things to know about brain development to help with your parenting
1. The Brain is a meaning making device
The brain is always trying to make sense of things, to make an association. As a parent, you can help your child create a sense of meaning. This is a cognitive process for the mind.
2. The Brain predicts and participates
This is the inherent nature of the brain – help your children build this skill. Kids can have a sense of anxiety when they can’t predict what will happen next. The brain does not learn the skill of prediction until age 8, but kids crave it at an early age.
3. The Brain likes to see patterns and connections
Help your kids see the patterns and connections in everyday objects and toys – this is called distinctive feature analysis.
4. The Brain likes complexity
The brain naturally craves something complex and a challenge. If something is too easy, there is no satisfaction. But if something is too hard, it becomes too frustrating. Facilitate activities for your kids so they are an achievable challenge.
5. The Brain needs movement
The brain and movement are closely related – 30% of your optic nerve is attached to your spinal cord. The brain desires movement, and movement fires brain development. The more your kids move, the more their brain develops.
Point #5 is a great segue into our third and final seminar with Margery on Media Literate Homes, January 22nd. This will be a very interesting topic, although some people have told me that they are a little “afraid” to attend because their kids watch media. Know that there is NO JUDGEMENT at this seminar! Margery will be giving you some background on media and children and suggesting healthy ways to use media. I’ll have a video preview of the seminar up soon, but for now, here is Margery talking about her role as a parent coach.