BrainWise and ParentsPosted On: October 28, 2019
When parents learn about BrainWise, they often say that they wish they had learned the 10 Wise Ways when they were tiny children. “My life would have been better if I had known these skills!” is a frequent comment. Their new knowledge makes them determined to teach their children the skills to “stop and think.” As one mother said, “Learning BrainWise will help my kids make better choices and build brain connections. I can see now why we need to teach these skills.”
Cutting-edge brain research underscores the need for parents themselves to teach BrainWise skills to their children. Child development professor Alison Gopnik calls babies “ultimate learning machines”. She and other renowned child psychologists are working with artificial intelligence (AI) computer scientists in Washington, as well as those at Google, Apple, and Facebook, to find out how and why babies can absorb these early life lessons so readily AI experts will use the information to enhance the abilities of computers to solve problems – not to make them smarter than humans, but for humans to be smarter by using AI.
As neuroscientists learn more about babies’ brains, their research is helping us gain a better understanding of parents’ influence as stewards of their infants’ and children’s experiences. This is where the parents’ grasp of the 10 Wise Ways will guide them so they can build stronger brains in themselves and their children.
BrainWise emphasizes that substantial clinical research has demonstrated that effective learning and retention of a new concept requires fifty or more hours of practice. Program instructors, from educators and health professionals to parents and caregivers, often struggle to find time to teach, repeat and reinforce the 10 Wise Ways. Showing parents 2-3-minute animated shorts of the 10 Wise Ways gives them a quick introduction to each thinking skill. Supplementing the short they see in the clinic or physician’s office with text messages suggesting follow-up activities will help parents to apply the concepts to actual child behaviors that will reinforce the child’s use of each of the 10 Wise Ways.
For today’s time-strapped parents, who often need to learn mental health skills themselves, electronic access to the shorts and the recommended activities are opportunities for them to access the required reinforcement hours without it becoming a chore.