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Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry

Forum: Attachment Parenting


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  • 1 Post By shen7
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February 28th, 2013, 06:16 AM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,905
"One of the most essential experiences in shaping the architecture of the developing brain is "serve and return" interaction between children and significant adults in their lives. Young children naturally reach out for interaction through babbling, facial expressions, and gestures, and adults respond with the same kind of vocalizing and gesturing back at them. This back-and-forth process is fundamental to the wiring of the brain, especially in the earliest years."

Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry

This science supports that Attachment Parenting promotes having a smarter baby

Here's the Dr Sears article that talks about how AP makes smarter babies:

"Attachment parented babies are smarter
Attachment parenting is good brain food, and here's why. The human brain grows more during infancy than at any other time, doubling its volume and reaching approximately 60 percent of its adult size by one year. The infant brain consists of miles of tangled electrical "wires," called neurons. The infant is born with much of this wiring unconnected. During the first year, these neurons grow larger, begin to work better, and connect to each other to complete circuits that enable the baby to think and do more things. If nerve cells don't make connections, they die. The more connections they make, the better the brain develops.
Brain researchers suggest it is these connections that we can influence to make a child smarter. Many studies now show that the most powerful enhancers of brain development are:

the quality of the parent-infant attachment (such as skin-to-skin contact) and;
the response of the caregiving environment to the infant's cues
I believe that attachment parenting promotes brain development by feeding the brain with the right kind of stimulation at a time in the child's life when the brain needs the most nourishment. Attachment parenting helps the developing brain make the right connections.

Many studies show that a secure mother-infant attachment and an environment responsive to the cues of the infant enhance brain development. Basically, these studies show that four relationships enhance a baby's intellectual and motor development:

Parent sensitivity and responsiveness to infant cues
Reinforcement of infant's verbal cues and frequency of interchange during play
Acceptance of and going with the flow of the baby's temperament
Providing a stimulating environment with the primary caregiver and play activities that encourage decision making and problem solving.
A simple explanation of how this style of parenting contributes to early learning is that it creates conditions that allow learning to occur. Infants learn best in the behavior state of quiet alertness . Attachment parenting fosters quiet alertness, thus creating the conditions that help a baby learn.

If you are beginning to feel very important, you are! What parents do with babies makes them smarter. In the keynote address at the 1986 annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, infant development specialist Dr. Michael Lewis reviewed studies of factors that enhance infant development. This presentation was in response to the overselling of the superbaby phenomenon that emphasized the use of programs and kits rather than the parents' being playful companions and sensitive nurturers. Lewis concluded that the single most important influence on a child's intellectual development was the responsiveness of the mother to the cues of her baby. In caring for your baby, keep in mind that relationships, not things, make brighter babies."

7 Benefits of AP | Ask Dr. Sears®
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February 28th, 2013, 08:40 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,057
Love it!!! I never understood how anyone could believe that plunking an infant in front of a Baby Einstein video was going to make them smarter... the TV does not react to you. And even when the kids shows do stuff like ask a question and wait so the kid is supposed to "answer", I have never even seen a kid reply to the TV they know it can't hear them!!

Infants need so much touch and responsiveness. I love babywearing for that. It gives them all the touch and comfort but also all the stimulation of my errands/shopping, walks, chores etc. I am so excited to wear baby #2, I miss M being small enough for wearing!
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February 28th, 2013, 10:04 AM
IronMamma's Avatar -Child Advocate
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,286
Great read! LOVE! Thank you for sharing!

I also miss wearing Drake! He is too big, too tall and does not like it anymore. He wants to RUN RUN RUN!

I have never seen a child respond to a cartoon question also. LOL! I do let Drake watch cartoons, but I am VERY interactive with him. We do LOTS of one on one play, we play trucks, we build with blocks, we walk around the field and pick up rocks, we color and so on. I also believe in serve and return. We have been doing that as well.

I love that AP babies are "smarter"!
alittlelost likes this.

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When you know better, you do better. And when you do better, you know HINTA.

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