Our brain is a fascinating creature. It is actually “plastic” or moldable. This means the brain physically changes throughout the course of our lives, not just in childhood.
What molds our brain? Experience. When we undergo an experience, our brain cells become active, or “fire”. The brain has not millions, but billions of neurons, each with thousands of connections to other neurons. The circuits in the brain are activated based on the nature of our mental activity, ranging from seeing or hearing to more abstract logical thoughts or reasoning. When neurons fire together, they grow new connections between them. Over time, the connections that result from firing lead to “rewiring” in the brain.
This means the more experiences and particularly new experiences a child obtains; the new connections take place in her brain. Nature has provided that the basic architecture of the brain will develop well given proper food, sleep and simulation. Genes, of course, play a large role in how people turn out, especially in terms of temperament. But findings from various areas of developmental psychology suggest that everything that happens to us – the music we hear, the people we love, the books we read, the kind of discipline we receive, the emotions we feel – profoundly affects the way our brain develops.
In other words, on top of our brain architecture and our inborn temperament, parent have much they can do to provide the kind of experiences that will develop a resilient, well-integrated brain.
Here are some suggestions:
- Encourage your children to try out new activities
- Promote exploratory play
- Change your approach to teaching to encourage exploratory learning
Right now, your child’s brain is constantly being wired and rewired, and the experiences you provide will go a long way toward determining the structure of her brain.
So, get your child to learn a new skill today!
Let’s get these brain cells firing up!
Love, The Lab Team
You might also like:
Comments are closed for this article!