Book Review: The Science of Parenting

No, I am not a parent. No, I am not pregnant.

But I did just do a ton of research and prep for the recent studio-wide Parent/Teacher Tea, which went fantastically. The parents in attendance made up for the fact that I am not a parent myself. We were able to approach their children's education with a more holistic awareness of everybody's point of view: parent, teacher, student. This magic trio is the foundation of the education of a student undergoing a Suzuki Music Education. As long as this trifecta's relationship is healthy, the education will be too. But I digress...

This book was suggested to me as a teacher of young kiddos. My initial reason for reading this book was that I wanted to get a better grasp of what goes on in my students' heads. But through reading this, I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my own brain and my own childhood through this book.

It basically takes typical parenting situations, like sleeping through the night, nightmares, temper tantrums, etc., and gives you the results of brain research in a format that's easy to understand.

Some highlights:

  • 90 percent of the growth of the brain occurs in the first 5 years of an adults life.

  • Being left alone to cry has scientific. psychological, and health risks for a child.

  • "A child's sense of being fundamentally unsafe in the world can become her way of knowing herself and other people." Ultimately  causing the stress response system to be active all the time.

  • Engaging the "Seeking System" in a child (curiosity, creativity, imagination, etc.) builds the foundation for finding life's satisfactions.

"Time In"

The most handy thing I picked up from the book was the concept of "Time In."  This is to occur either in the place of, or before Time Out. It means taking the time to sit and talk about why their behavior is unacceptable and discovering together the feelings that caused that behavior. What a wonderful life-lesson to teach a child: to ask the question, "Why?"

This book is chalk full of wonderful tidbits and I highly suggest every adult understand what's going on chemically in their own brains as well as their children's.  I bought this book here.