Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fashionista's Book Review: Brain Rules for Baby

I found this book by accident when browsing the bookstore at LCCT International Departure Hall before leaving for Surabaya, Indonesia. Since we were leaving on a trip anyway and that trip has been planned to be filled with a 6-hour train ride from Surabaya to Yogyakarta (to and fro) I decided that it would be wise to have something to read while on the train (this thought later proved to be wise as the train ride turned out to be rather monotonous and dull).

Despite the book being on the New York Times bestseller list, I have never heard of the book before. But then again, I am not one to keep up with the bestseller list on New York Times *duh*. However, what compelled me to buy this book came at page 4 (I have a habit of reading a couple of pages of any book that I'd want to buy before making the decision to purchase; the synopsis often has a way of making a book way more interesting that it really is, you see).

On page 4, there are several myths that the author addressed (and some of those myths are those that seem to have been ingrained in my brain as truths *gasp*).

Myth #1: Playing Mozart to your womb will improve your baby's future math score (and the sad fact is, by the time I read this, I had already bought a whole collection of classical tunes from iTunes store just the previous month and was playing it once a week to the baby in my tummy. I have since changed from Mozart to Quranic verses instead).

Myth #2: Exposing your infant or toddler to language DVDs will boost his vocabulary.

Myth #3: To boost their brain power, children need French lessons by age 3 and a room piled with "brain-friendly" toys and a library of educational DVDs.

Myth #4: Continually telling your children they are smart will boost their confidence (which is what I've been doing to my niece, but since reading this book, I've stopped this habit).

So the author explained the rationale of these myths (and many others) and the actual facts regarding the myths (no I am not going to tell you what they are, but I do suggest that you go out and buy the book if you're interested to know).

So what can you expect from this book? I found the book to be filled with experiments (most of them regarding the brain but there are also many other experiments non-brain related) and the outcomes of those experiments (which is an eye-opener for me). There are also a lot of guidelines and tips on understanding a child's brain and how we, as mothers (or fathers or whoever it is that we think we are) can influence and shape those brains. For mothers out there (or soon-to-be mothers, like me, or even those involved in the childcare industry), I truly recommend this book. Don't worry, for a non-fiction book, it's written in a way that is simple and easy to understand (there's no funny jargons from what I can see) and the best part is, the author really tries to engage the readers in a witty conversational tone (so there's absolutely no lecture monotonous tone that you're used to when attending class).

Oh, if you're wondering about the academic qualifications of the author, he's a brain scientist, so he should be in his element in writing this book. For more information on the book or brain rules, you may want to visit his site here.


xoxo Mrs Fashionista

Ps: I'm definitely going to reread the book once the baby comes out =).