I'm FAR from being a perfect parent. I raise my voice to my kids, let them eat candy and sometimes let them watch FAR too much TV so I can get work done. But there are some things I think I got right.
I nursed my daughter until she was 3.
We still co-sleep with our kids (now 5 and 7) most nights.
I have refused to buy video games.
My kids love all fruits and veggies.
I took prenatal vitamins.
I know the first two are pretty controversial and definitely not for everyone. But according to this article in Science Daily, there are some techniques (influenced by social practices and cultural beliefs) that are likely harming our kids' brain development. For example:
1. Isolating babies in their own rooms
2. Not attending to a crying baby (for fear it will spoil them)
3. Using formula instead of breastfeeding (when possible)
4. Keeping babies in car seats, bouncers or strollers much of the time rather than holding/carrying them
5. Not having multiple caregivers ("it takes a village")
6. Not enough free play in nature
The good news is that the right brain grows throughout life. This is the part of the brain that deals with empathy, creativity and self-regulation. So at any point you can encourage positive brain development by getting your kid into art classes, outside to play or just in the living room to dance around.
Here's the article:
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