Tag: Brain Science

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  • First Lesson of the School Year: Your Brain Can Grow

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    Students will enter school this year with all sorts of supplies and feelings. The pens, notebooks, books and class schedules will fit neatly inside their backpacks. The feelings - including excitement, fear,... 

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  • Want your children to succeed in school? Let them play

    My family spent this past Sunday afternoon playing in the street. The best part? We didn't have to use the "game off!" and "game on!" codes to avoid cars. Instead, a main thoroughfare running through the heart of our city was transformed - all 22 blocks of it. As part of "Open Streets MPLS," the cars and busses normally crowding the street were replaced by strollers, bikes, wheelchairs,... 

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  • Executive Coaching Can Be Fun! Tips for Boosting Your Child's Executive Function

    We just wrote a post about executive function and how important these skills are for our kids success in school and in life. Here are some tips for giving your kids lots of practice:

    Help them build a framework:

    • Help your child set attainable goals and break tasks into achievable steps.... 
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  • Everybody Loses in a Power Struggle

    Dr. Dave, I am having a problem with my eleven year old son. It seems like all we do is argue and I am tired. I try to explain what I am doing in terms of my parenting decisions and why I am doing it but it never ends. He is so strong willed but I am the parent. He needs to listen to me. Help!

    Scott, Tulsa

    Scott, You are not alone! For lots of... 

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  • Teach Your Child to Drive (And Why the Brain is Like a Team of Horses)

    Are children born hardwired to act a certain way? Or is it their life experiences that shape the way their brains grow and develop? Scientists spent a long time trying to settle the old "nature vs. nurture" debate. As it turns out, the debate was grounded by a false premise - that we had to choose. We know now that both nature AND... 

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  • Why Are You Always Yelling at Me? The Science Behind Parent-Teen Miscommunication

    It seems like every conversation I have with my thirteen year old ends in a fight. I try to keep my cool but even then my daughter acts like I am the worst mom in the world. Any suggestions? Why is this happening so much more with my daughter than my 8 year old son?

    Sally, Wisconsin

    Sally, 

    At the end of a conversation with your... 

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  • Why Your Kids Need Brain Food

    I have heard you talk a lot about the importance of experience in brain development but as a certified nutrition I think it is important to talk about food too. Thoughts?

    Kathy, Nebraska

    Kathy, 

    We all know now that nutritious food builds strong bodies. But as you note in your question, they build strong brains too!

    Our brains take... 

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  • Teenage Drinking: How to Be a Hands-On Parent

    I just wrote a post about alcohol effects on the teenage brain. Caring and connected parents are the number one protective factor for teens. Here are some ideas to get you started:

    • Don't duck the hard conversations. Talk to your kids about smoking, drinking, and drugs. Avoid one "big talk" and replace it with consistent and ongoing... 
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  • Alcohol Effects on the Teenage Brain

    I am worried that my daughter has started drinking with her friends and am scared to death about what might happen. My daughter tells me that some of the parents at her school are hosting parties so that they can keep the kids "safe" and away from driving. That seems crazy to me. Any advice on what to do?

    Susana, Colorado

    Susana,... 

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  • Active Kids: Exercise Builds Strong Brains

    My son's school just cut recess again and I can't help but think that this isn't a good idea. He is a squirrely kid already - any thoughts on talking points for the school board?

    Judy, Montana

    Judy, School districts strapped for cash and facing pressure to increase test scores often try to preserve classroom instruction by making cuts to... 

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  • Focusing on Entertainment? Children and Attention

    My son comes home from school and can play video games for hours yet has a really difficult time focusing at school. What is going on here?

    Marta, Missouri

    This is certainly a problem that is bewildering parents everywhere. Whether it is texting, gaming, or spending time on Facebook, young people seem... 

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  • Distracted child or ADHD?

    You mentioned in your new book , Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids, that kids with ADD or ADHD have a problem shifting their attention, or maintaining their attention.  Does that imply that an ability to focus on one task can still be called ADD or ADHD? Would that include attention given to video games and screens in general?

    Hend, Cairo,... 

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  • New Parenting Book - Raising Brighter, Healthier, and Happier Kids

    I just got back from Columbia, South Carolina where I had the privilege of spending the entire day as a guest of the United Way of the Midlands speaking to community leaders, professionals, and parents. I had the opportunity to share some of the highlights of my new parenting book, Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids, and had great conversations about how we can use brain science to raise... 

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  • Born to Copy? Media Violence and Mirror Neurons

    Dear Dr. Dave, 

    There was recently a bomb threat at my son's high school. It seemed like the plot was right out of a video game. I can't help but think that there is a relationship - are kids just copying what they see in their... 

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  • Experience Counts: Development of the Brain - Part 2

    I just answered answered a question from Sue in Minneapolis, MN about the critical role of experience in the development of the brain (Part 1). For those of you who don't have time to read the whole post, want to share this information with colleagues or friends, or just don't love reading all that text check out this prezi we made on the same... 

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  • Experience Counts: Development of the Brain - Part 1

    Dr. Dave, I just saw you speak last week. Can you explain again the role of "practice" and experience in brain development? I want to share this information with my kids!

    Sue, Minneapolis, MN

    Sue, Thanks for your question. As we discussed last week, the brain is an astounding three pound miracle and neuroscience has... 

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  • Sensory Processing Disorder Tips

    I just wrote a blog post about sensory processing disorder that explains what SPD is and how to get support. Here are some further tips to help you navigate SPD with your kids.

    1. Sensory Processing Disorder is brain based and not the result of any parenting mistakes. It doesn’t help if you blame yourself. We don’t choose our... 
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  • Sensory Processing Disorder

    Do you understand anything about sensory processing disorder? We have a 3-year-old grandson who has been diagnosed with this. His parents have tried listening therapy with high and low pitches to organize his nervous system and are doing things to provide propriosepter (spelling?) input. Just wondering if you have any ideas about this or know of any good people for them to... 

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  • Poverty and Kids' Brains

    I heard you give a talk not too long ago about how brain science can help us understand and solve many of our educational challenges. Can brain science explain the "achievement gap" that we teachers are struggling to close?

    --Kim, McKinney, TX

    Thanks Kim.  The answer to that question is an emphatic "yes." A full answer would... 

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