What is the ultimate gift that a parent can give their kids? What if you could give your kids the gift of a high IQ or a heightened level of intelligence? Recent discoveries in how the brain develops proves that this may actually be possible.
Understanding how the brain is structured is the first step. Neurons are the cells of the brain that transfer information through chemical and electrical communication. Dendrites are the connection between the neurons which permit them to communicate. Your intelligence is not based on how large your brain is, but rather on the number of connections between the different parts of your brain. These connections are vital for us to comprehend incoming stimuli from different parts of our body and our external world.
In order for us to reach our maximum intellectual potential, our brains must be stimulated during critical periods to form these vital connections. In "Brilliant Babies Powerful Adults," John Mike shows us that the first three years of life is a critical period for dendritic formation in the brain. His research has found that if we promote certain types of stimulation from the sixth month of pregnancy to age three, we can make a dramatic shift in a child's IQ. In some cases as much as 20-40 points.
Early stimulation includes:
1) A strong emotional connection with their primary care giver. The act of soothing a young baby when they are distressed gives them the assurance that the world is a safe and trustworthy place.
2) Playing different types of music stimulates their sense of hearing. Listening to music has also proven to increase intelligence and encourages discipline, attention, fluency and self-reliance.
3) Reading to them is one of the absolute best critical stimulates for numerous parts of the brain, and we are encouraged to start as early as the 6th month of pregnancy.
4) Engaging with them in normal conversation increases their vocabulary. Recent studies have shown that infants had a vocabulary of 131 more words than infants with less verbally involved parents.
5) Keep your thoughts healthy and clean because your baby can feel and sense them. Work through any issues that you may have so that they do not negatively impact your babies development.
If we focus on the right kind of early stimulation, we can make a lasting positive impact on our children's brain development. Of all the things that we invest in, the time we spend devoted to the development of our children is truly the ultimate gift.