Childhood is filled with wonderful moments: the first toothless baby smile, the mad exploration sprints and the all-time favorite – the hilarious bathroom jokes!
Yet childhood is also accompanied by its own array of challenges, including big emotions, sleepless nights and selective listening.
What if I told you that there is a way to prevent major conflicts, lessen temper tantrum frequency and manage your child’s sleeping habits with ease?
In this article, we will cover the 7 scientifically-proven ways to boost child brain development.
Learn how to turbocharge your child’s brain and prepare it for a successful future, all while helping you parent effortlessly.
All of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors originate in the brain – the central commending center.
Sifting through hundreds of scientific studies, we present to you the 7 most significant areas that impact a child’s well-being during the early years of child brain development.
Using neuroscience as a tool to boost child brain power and live a healthy, peaceful and productive life.
Here are the 7 scientifically-proven ways to boost child brain development.
Consistent daily application of these principles will help you and your child thrive.
Make a conscious effort to zero in on each important element of child brain development and be rewarded with tremendous joy as you watch your child blossom into a well-balanced and mentally strong adult.
Brain development begins from the bottom up. It starts with the cerebellum, a structure located at the base of the brain, responsible for movement, balance and coordination and continues to the motor cortex where the planning and execution of movements occur.
Encourage physical activity from Day 1 – that is, from that memorable moment that you bring home your swaddle blanketed baby!
Baby Exercises: Begin simply by gently using your hands to bicycle their tiny newborn feet and as they grow, progress to placing toys just outside their reach to encourage crawling.
Infant/Toddler Exercises: Now that your little child has mastered walking and is mobile, physical activity can come in many forms. Climbing on play structures, taking the dog for a walk and running after a ball are excellent ways to get moving.
Movement is all they need to get that “feel good” hormonal brain release and find a sense of calmness in the body, which translates to a calm state of mind, primed and ready to learn.
Find out what happens when you supercharge the child’s brain with exercise.
Stimulating the young child’s mind enriches and expands it by strengthening the connections between existing brain circuits and building new ones through learning.
During the early years of child brain development, the capacity for learning and forming new brain networks is at its best, it’s no wonder that we heard our kids are like little sponges.
Exposure to language, arithmetic, natural phenomena and novel experiences in the environment by engaging the senses strengthens brain connections in key brain structures, particularly the cortex – the thinking and planning center of the brain.
Consistent daily learning adds up to monumental gains. Work with your child every day for 15-20 minutes on a mind stimulating activity. It can be reading, counting buttons, using the measuring cups while baking, playing a musical instrument – you get the point.
The more time and energy invested in your child now (especially during the critical time windows of brain development (ages of 0-8), the more that you will get out later in life.
Here are additional tips on how to increase your child’s brain power.
Children thrive in social environments, working together towards a common goal and collaborating with their peers.
Our remarkable brains have evolved to seek out social connections, as this was the only way to guarantee survival on the African plains. Living in large tribes provided security and decreased the probability of being eaten by a lion.
In our digital day and age, social interactions are more important than ever. The science is crystal clear on this point: relationships are the secret ingredient to a long, happy and healthy life!
Encourage your child develop life-long relationships with friends, family members, even pets. Your child will learn critical communication skills, including reading body language, empathy and compassion, which will serve them well throughout life.
Spending time with nurturing adults during the newborn and infant stages of life wire the brain’s social circuits essential for normal development.
Playing with other children is another method to support healthy brain development. Think about all of the elements present in a single play date: physical movement, mental stimulation, social interactions, emotional regulation and imagination. That is 5 out of our 7 brain pillars essential for child development.
Developing emotional intelligence – the ability to regulate one’s own emotions and demonstrate compassion towards another human being, is an important life skill.
Coaching children on how to deal with powerful emotions early during childhood will pave the way to good mental health. Start by helping a child label the emotion (i.e. happy, sad), discuss the feeling to avoid bottling it up inside and act as a role model with appropriate emotional responses. These simple yet effective tricks will lead to self-regulation and self-mastery. Start your coaching journey today with these great tips!
In addition, providing a nurturing, warm and safe environment filled with love and physical touch will contribute to greater emotional stability for the child. The caregiver-child relationship is at the core of healthy emotional development: the more attuned a caregiver is to a child’s feelings and desires, the greater the benefit which stem from secure attachments in early life.
Learn how the child’s mind is shaped by responsive parenting.
Explore fascinating and often forgotten child psychology tricks still in use today by parents of civilizations from around the globe, which focuses primarily on the social-emotional needs of the child.
The power of creative thinking ignites the imagination and brings about world changing innovations. Investing in creativity early in a child’s life will lay down a solid foundation of brain real estate on which great creative innovations will be built.
Artistic pursuits including music, drawing and dance wire the brain to think differently, problem solve and dream big. Reawakened brain circuits for empathy come alive and are integrated with higher order thinking and planning centers to execute the artistic endeavor.
Imaginative play encourages “out of the box” thinking and the re-enactment of daily events, further developing emotional control and social-emotional intelligence – the most important skills of future academic success.
Offer plenty of creative outlets and carve out time in the child’s schedule to practice art and imaginative play. Expose your child to a variety of artistic enrichment activities and let them discover their true passion.
Creative thinking is responsible for the world’s greatest inventions
Science supports boredom as a tool to accelerating creativity. Find out how here.
Unwavering, disciplined action focused towards a goal leads to success. A disciplined mindset, an action plan and the will to follow through will make your child unstoppable in attaining their heart’s desire.
Teach a young child the value of focused, persistent efforts and become their role model to emulate.
During the early child development stages, set clear boundaries and limitations of unacceptable behaviors. Although counterintuitive, this will help your child achieve self-mastery, internal balance and fulfillment in the long run.
Always follow through with consistent natural consequences to correct misbehavior. For instance, carrying a heavy plate with a single hand might mean dropping the mouthwatering chocolate chip cookie on the floor and losing the afternoon snack. With time, the child will then learn to autocorrect and display the appropriate behaviors.
Our society consists of cultural norms and mannerisms that we must adapt to function in civilization. It starts with us – parents and educators – guiding our children to become the best version of themselves.
Encouraging independence is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your child. Helping them integrate grit, resourcefulness and conscientiousness into their character will place them on a path to world class!
Soon their confidence will sky rocket as they take ownership of everything in their world. A “can do” attitude will ensue, along with the ability to learn new skills and troubleshoot problems in their own, unique ways.
When the going gets tough as often is the case with life’s ups and downs, your child will have the determination to rely on their talents, further strengthening their character along the way.
Sometimes we underestimate our children’s capabilities and intervene way too much with the growth process by thinking that they need us to dictate their every move.
What if we can learn to let them take the lead? Amazing things might start to happen!
To nurture independence in daily life, respect the child’s opinions and desires, encourage them to do things for themselves and build greater autonomy and self-esteem in the process.
Guide them to exercise their right to choose freely between a few valid options (the red, blue or green dress) and make them a contributing member of the household by providing age-appropriate household, further developing their sense of self worth.
Now that you are aware of the 7 scientifically-proven ways to boost child brain development, you can help your child become truly exceptional in reaching their fullest potential.
With these neuroscience tricks up your sleeve you can create an incredible life for you and your child.
What is your favorite brain boosting area of child development?
Did you notice a difference in your child’s behavior after a few weeks?
Please share with us the good, the bad and the ugly so that we can support one another on our journey to maximizing human potential.
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