Some parents are so concerned with a child’s brain development that they buy expensive educational toys, videos, computers and language tapes.
- What does research suggest? Save your money.
- Too many new experiences or too much stimulation can cause stress and hurt a child’s development.
- Children need freedom to explore on their own terms and not be bombarded with high levels of stimulation — such as watching television or videos.
The brain develops through hands on experience during a lifetime, but stress can limit this development.
Watch your children’s signals to see when they are feeling overly stressed or stimulated.
- turn away
- cover their face with their hands
- become upset
- become frustrated
When you see this, take steps to reduce the stimulation and calm your child.
For example, if you gently tickle or play together, what does your child do? Does she stop smiling, laughing, become upset, or turn away? These actions may be signals of overstimulation. Try a gentle hug instead of tickling, or a slower, calmer game.