Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to FiveBrain Rules for Baby:How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five.  Finished 11-7-12, rating 3.5/5, parenting, 277 pages, pub. 2010

I bought quite a few parenting books after Gage was born and read none of them.  I remember looking through this one at the time and thinking that it made me feel like I’d already blown my chance to make Gage smart and happy since the whole first section is what you should be doing during pregnancy!  But then I saw this gushing post from Trish and decided to pick it up and try again.

Trish felt that every prospective mother should have a copy of this placed in her hands and I definitely think that every parent should read the section on relationships.  I think most couples are unprepared for what a baby does to a relationship in those first years.  It’s not all gazing at your baby and husband with pure joy on your face and in your heart.  Let me include a few LOL passages from mothers…

“I sometimes fantasize about getting divorced just so I can have every other weekend off.”

“Sometimes when I’m holding my beautiful baby in my arms and we’re gazing lovingly at each other, I secretly wish that she would fall asleep so that I could check my email.”

I think this section about relationships should be required reading.  I’ve asked Jason to read it at this late date because I think there are some useful tools for us.  And we need it since according to Medina, “More than 80% of couples experience a huge drop in marital quality during the transition to parenthood.”  He goes on to say that satisfaction doesn’t recover until the kids leave the house!

There were many parts of the book I liked and others that I didn’t find helpful at all.  I think there are great tips for any new parent but I also felt that he included too many studies that favored a one-way-to-parent rationale.  There were too many times that Medina made me feel like I’d already failed Gage.  There is just too much pressure.  That being said I take a lot away from it.  It’s given me that extra pause before I lose my patience 😉  It’s also reinforced some of the things I already do with Gage and and given me some suggestions for everyday interaction.

Trish head-over-heels loved the audio, so please head over there for a fresh perspective.  One of the sections I liked a lot was about happiness and I’ll conclude with a quote from a group that studied happiness over decades…

“The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

Thank you, blogging buddies, for adding to my happiness 🙂  I do think that every parent could benefit from his great website that’s full of information from the book, Brain Rules for Baby.

10 thoughts on “Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina

  1. Lloyd Russell says:

    With 3 kids aged 28-36, and 4 grandchildren aged 4 months-7 years, there are 2 easy pieces of advice that I would give:

    1. Make sure that you get time alone with your spouse – whether it’s going away for a night, a weekend, or a week – or just going to the movies and dinner.
    2. Maintain a sense of humor – you have to be able to laugh at the absurdities that parenting brings.

    I’m no expert, but those formulas have worked well (46 years of dating/marriage) for my wife and me.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      Advice from an expert!! We’ve started a weekly dinner out together and that has helped a lot. I probably need to work on my sense of humor 🙂 Congratulations on youe newest grandbaby addition.

  2. Word Lily says:

    Ugh, why do people push the only-one-right-way thing so much? Sounds like a really interesting book, if I can get past the guilt trips it will apparently give me (like other parenting books, it seems, even though I’ve only read one).

  3. caspette says:

    I agree all those parenting books never really convey the “how to look after your relationship after baby, during raising a child” part. I have always been a firm believer you need to work at relationships they dont just happen. It may seem daft but even scheduling dates helps. My partner and I make sure we do lunch nearly every day. We work close to each other so this fits in well with our relationship and garantees a bit of us time. We dont always have big deep and meaningful convos and sometimes we spend it talking about our son but mostly it is time for us to be together.

    But those quotes made me laugh, the “go to sleep so I can go on the net” was my guilty thought lol

  4. Trish says:

    You guys have me curious but I’ve kinda sorta sworn off parenting books. :-/ My sister in law gave me The Baby Whisperer when I was pregnant and I started to read it when I was trying to figure out how to get Elle to nap and the book just made me feel like a failure. I was also going through PPD but even still I’ve sworn off books. I would be interested in hearing about the relationships, though–it certainly is a struggle and balancing act. I have a friend who has a rocky marriage and is contemplating having a baby. I want to scream at her not to but know that it’s her choice. I just try to stress to her that if your marriage isn’t roses before baby, it’s certainly not going to be roses after.

    Maybe I’ll see if my library has.

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