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Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

Book Description

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 bestseller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina showed 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 five. 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.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. brain rules
  4. Introduction
  5. pregnancy
    1. Quiet, please: Baby in progress
    2. The amazing pregaphone
    3. Let’s get it on
    4. When can your baby hear you, smell you?
    5. A balancing act
    6. 4 things proven to help baby’s brain
    7. Every little bit counts
  6. relationship
    1. Most marriages suffer
    2. Seeds of hope
    3. Babies seek safety above all
    4. How babies respond to stress
    5. The four biggest reasons you’ll fight
    6. ‘Nobody told me it was going to be so hard’
    7. The first step is awareness
    8. Make empathy a reflex: Two simple steps
    9. Prepare your relationship
  7. smart baby: seeds
    1. What a smart brain looks like
    2. The intelligence of IQ
    3. What does it mean to be smart?
    4. Mom’s beef stew: 7 ingredients of intelligence
    5. Not on IQ tests
  8. smart baby: soil
    1. The brain’s day job is not learning
    2. 4 ingredients you want
    3. 1. Breast-feeding is a brain booster
    4. 2. Talk to your baby—a lot
    5. 3. Hurray for play
    6. 4. Praise effort, not IQ
    7. The digital age: TV, video games, and the Internet
    8. No boob tube before age 2
    9. Video games: Don’t just sit there
    10. A cautionary tale about texting
    11. My baby is better than your baby
    12. The dangers of hyper-parenting
  9. happy baby: seeds
    1. What is happy?
    2. The secret of happiness
    3. How to make friends
    4. Emotional regulation: How nice
    5. Where emotions happen in the brain
    6. Empathy: The glue of relationships
    7. Could happiness or sadness be genetic?
    8. No one gene for temperament
    9. Tendencies, not destinies
  10. happy baby: soil
    1. Attentive, patient ping-pong
    2. Attachment takes years
    3. Parenting is not for sissies
    4. A terrific kid
    5. “Where do you go to get kids like this?”
    6. Why empathy works
  11. moral baby
    1. Are babies born moral?
    2. Why don’t kids just do the right thing?
    3. How moral reasoning develops
    4. How the brain bridges facts and emotions
    5. Raising a moral child: Rules and discipline
    6. 1. Clear, consistent rules and rewards
    7. 2. Swift punishment
    8. 3. Explaining the rules
    9. Should you spank?
    10. The discipline kids prefer
  12. conclusion
  13. brain rules
  14. practical tips
  15. references
  16. Acknowledgements
  17. Copyright Page