Successful parents do these 3 things with their kids to ‘build their brains’, says pediatric surgeon

Childhood is the period of rapidly growing in the brain. In reality, 90% of a child’s brain development occurs before the age of five – and a large part of it is dependent on their linguistic environment.

That’s why frequent, rich “serve and give” interactions are so important for brain and social development. Nurturing activities – talking, smiling, pointing, answering, singing, retelling your day – help children develop two important skill sets: Cognitive skills (e.g., reading, remembering , language) and non-cognitive (or “soft”) skills (eg, , grit, resilience).

As a pediatric surgeon who studies brain development in children, I find that many parents don’t do enough of this, which is why I have spent most of my career. themselves to develop evidence-based programs to help parents create wealth. language environment for their children.

At the heart of all of our programs is the “3T strategy,” a three-step approach that successful parents use to create meaningful connections with their children and build their brains. them: Tune more talk. Turns.

How to execute the 3Ts . strategy

Step 1: Tuning for channels

Tuning encourages parents to make a conscious effort to notice what their child is focusing on and then talk to them.

Let’s say you are sitting at the table with your child eating a snack and you see them looking out the window. Try to keep track of their vision and adjust to what they are focusing on. Then ask them a question that gets them talking about it: “Are you observing that bird outside? Look how colorful it is!”

Pay attention to the sights and sounds that capture your child’s attention during this time. They are curious little creatures, so their focus and attention is ever-changing! Your job is to combine the conversation with whatever appeals to them in the moment.

Step 2: Speak more

After you’ve tailored what your child is interested in, follow their lead: Raise their level and speak more, using a rich variety of languages.

Talking more adds words to the piggy bank in a child’s brain – a kind of compound interest bank. The more words that are put into the bank, the more brain connections a child builds and the larger his vocabulary grows.

Going back to our example, now that you know your child is focusing on the bird outside, continue to engage them in conversation using a variety of language that encourages focus and engagement. ending: “We can watch the bird while we snack! Let’s see how long he stays.”

Step 3: Take turns

The best conversations happen when both of you are equally attached. Regardless of your child’s age, you can take turns talking – babbling, pointing and gestures are also considered dialogue.

Engage in back-and-forth conversation patterns by asking questions that encourage your child to describe the world around them or how they are feeling.

Add your own observations and feelings to encourage a sense of mutual exchange: “I see blue and brown and gray feathers. What color do you see on the bird? Do you like him? ? I think he’s the most beautiful bird I’ve ever seen.” “

Benefits of 3Ts . strategy

Learn Our programs have shown that 3T is effective in enhancing parents’ interactions and conversations with their children.

What’s also great about 3T is that it helps parents connect with their kids as they grow into their teens and beyond. I still use this strategy with my first child, who just graduated from college.

3T does not require advanced utilities or specialized degrees. They can be used while reading or playing or in any everyday moment, such as washing clothes, riding the bus or playing.

And they remind parents that they are their children’s first and most powerful teachers, and that their loving, serving, and returning interactions build a healthy foundation for learning. lifelong practice.

Dr. Dana Suskind is a professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and the founder and co-director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health at University of Chicago. She is The author of “Nation of parenthood: Unleash the potential of every child, fulfill the promise of society. “Follow her on Twitter @DrDanaSuskind.

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