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Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five [Anglais] [Broché]

John Medina

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Baby 6 juillet 2014
Par Trevor Habermeyer - Publié sur
As a young father who has largely avoided the litany of parenting books on the market, I didn't know what to expect from John Medina's "Brain Rules for Baby." Purchased on a whim at the recommendation of a friend, the book sat on my shelf, unread, for several months until I realized that my somewhat laissez-faire style of parenting probably wasn't in the best interests of my children - my 15-month-old son and a baby daughter in the oven. Devouring its contents in about a week, I am very glad I had this epiphany sooner than later.

Despite being a "developmental molecular biologist" by trade, Medina is a refreshingly savvy writer, opting to avoid much of the jargon that would make the book impenetrable for the untrained layman like me. The book is divided into five clear, topical sections:

- Pregnancy (how to help your baby develop while in utero)
- Relationship (how to avoid the relationship pitfalls many couples experience post-partum)
- Smart Baby (how to optimize your child's brain development and intelligence)
- Happy Baby (how to raise a happy, well-balanced child)
- Moral Baby (how to help your child develop and nurture their moral compass)

Medina does his best to base his recommendations on robust scientific research, which is a plus. As he states early in the introduction, "To gain my trust, research must pass my `grump factor.' To make it into this book, studies must first have been published in the refereed literature and then successfully replicated . . . Where I make an exception for cutting-edge research, reliable but not yet fully vetted by the passage of time, I will note it" (pp. 3). You can tell that he was very careful about choosing what material to include, later citing his distaste for research based on, "shoddy designs, biased agendas, lack of controls, non-randomized cohorts, too-few sample sizes, too few experiments - and lots of loud, even angry, opinions" (pp. 143). Medina knows his statistics, which makes it easier for me to trust that the recommendations he presents in the text have a solid foundation.

Perhaps inevitably, it's hard to read a book like this and not feel somewhat inadequate and/or guilty - especially if you already have kids. I couldn't help but think of how much TV I've already let my little boy watch, how much more I should be talking with him to bolster his language acquisition, etc. Fortunately, Medina readily admits that the ideal is not going to be the reality when it comes to parenting: "A family based on every suggestion in this book is fantasy" (pp. 254). Being a parent has its own learning curve, and we're never going to perfectly implement best practices. But if reading this book only makes me a _slightly_ better parent, it will still have been worth it.

So why not five stars? As much as I appreciate Medina's "grump factor" in filtering out unreliable data, there are two important topics I felt should have received much more coverage, considering their relative importance in a child's development: nutrition and music. Aside from nutritional imperatives for pregnant mothers, Medina has surprisingly little to say about nutrition beyond the breastfeeding stage. Perhaps he thought nutrition, one of the most controversial subjects out there, was intuitive?

As for music, Medina has a bit more to say, but I have mixed feelings about how he presented it. I counted only a couple instances where Medina had something positive to say about the effect of music on a child's development, and in both cases music is cited as helping children better perceive others' emotions, increasing their "ability to establish and maintain friendships" (pp. 273). That's it for the positive; otherwise, Medina is fairly snarky in his dismissal of pro-music research, such as the idea that playing classical music will have a positive effect on a child's development. While I respect his good intentions to clear up erroneous myths, I fear that parents might walk away from this book believing that music is non-essential at best, irrelevant at worst - a tragic conclusion either way, in my opinion.

Admittedly, I have a bias: I was raised by a mother who has been an advocate for music education and has proclaimed the positive effects of music on the brain for as long as I can remember (she even wrote a book on it: "Good Music Brighter Children"). Music has always been a major part of my life, and I intend to make it a priority with my own children. Considering Medina's admittance early on that, "Most of the data we have [regarding baby brain development is] associative, not causal," (pp. 7) it seems rather irresponsible for him to dismiss much of the positive research regarding music and brain development so flippantly. While music is certainly not a cure-all, I have good reason to believe, both from anecdotal experience and from the positive research I have read, that the effect of music on the brain goes far beyond simply helping children better perceive others' emotions.

Despite my qualms, I would still highly recommend this book for prospective parents. What Medina left out does not invalidate what he included. There are some really excellent, practical ideas that all parents could benefit from (the book even closes with a "Practical Tips" chapter that breaks down much of the research into applicable chunks). While I am not an expert on "essential" parenting books, I am inclined to keep Medina's work within arm's length as I work on raising my young children.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Down-to-earth and comprehensive advice for all parents (and parents-to-be) of young children 7 mai 2014
Par Yau - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I appreciate the down-to-earth, scientific, and reliable advice on what works and what doesn't. There are many theories out there, and worse yet many products, claiming to help babies be happier and smarter, all capitalizing on parents' love and fears. But this book helps not only to debunk those myths, but also to discover issues that were clouded by them. We are bombarded with advertisements on what to buy buy buy, and we check consumer reports to see what products are best. While we know at the back of our mind that things like disciplining and marital relationships are important, we don't spend enough time worrying about these things. This book emphasizes the importance of those missed issues, and gets us back to genuine parenting. The biggest myth that it debunks is that the new baby will simply bring cuteness and happiness to the family. While this is very true, the other side of the picture is overlooked. It's a one-way relationship: the baby takes, I give. If parents have a fairy-tale perception of parenthood, it will lead to trouble. We need to be prepared for a more realistic view of both the great joys and great difficulties of parenting.
13 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Least helpful early developmental book that I've read. 3 juillet 2014
Par Jenjolene - Publié sur
I purchased this book based on the excellent reviews. Unfortunately I found it to be full of snazzy, lengthy writing with little depth or things parents can actively do to assist in their child's development. There are many better early development books available. I found "Superbaby" (terrible title, but exellent book!) and "Bright From The Start" to be great developmental books focusing on ages 0-3. "NurtureShock" is also a very informative read.

The useful content provided in "Brain Rules for Baby" could be easily conveyed in only about 10% of the length. For a busy working parent who is very interested in my child's development, this was definitely not a very useful book for me. I found the "Tools of the Mind" classroom section of the book to be very intriguing, but unfortunately discovered in my own search that this preschool classroom design is extremely uncommon (i.e. there is only one classroom in my entire state and you must be low-income to qualify for it). I am searching for practical and applicable child development information, not enticing descriptions about rare and unobtainable developmental programs.

Consider this as you think about buying the book: the author describes his 6-month old son pointing to his octopus mobile and clearly saying "Oct-o-pus." Really? In this is Medina telling parents that 6-month old babies are supposed to be correctly communicating polysyllabic words to us about items? If so, are we to feel that we are failing as parents if our 6-month old children mostly smile, sleep, and still spit up a lot? Very disappointing.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Intelligent book 19 juillet 2014
Par Yao Zhang - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A smart book to raise a smart baby! Recommended by several mom friends. A very interesting and informative book, not one of those books keep repeating the same thing over and over. You can actually learn form Brain Rules for Baby. From relationship management to self-esteem, from emotion control to disipline
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Insightful must read for new or experienced parents 1 juillet 2014
Par Mdclark - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Wow, almost couldn't put it down! Offers practical science based guidance for new parents on understanding and caring for their kids. Balanced look at data, with simple but truly life changing behaviors taught. Everyone should read!
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