Why is it that some children thrive while others do not?. Watch the documentary, Brain Matters.
Think about the guiding question of the documentary, “Why is it that some children thrive while others do not?”
and write a 2-page reflection paper (minimum 1 ½ page – maximum 3 pages) sharing your thoughts on this question based on the topics discussed in the documentary. Be sure to use specific details from the documentary and back up all of your thoughts with insights from the experts in the film.
The Colosseum and the Pyramids can be restored, but they can only be built once. And although the human brain isn’t listed as one of the Wonders of the World, newborn brains are similar.
The first three years of life are when brains are built, and although change is possible as we grow, science proves that getting it right from the beginning is the best opportunity we have to increase our chances of thriving.
Those years are the focus of the new documentary “Brain Matters.”
It strings together interviews, family stories and research footage from around the world to bring early brain science into the mainstream, and reinforce the early child development movement.
The production even visited Sarasota, where filmmakers interviewed Kathryn Shea, CEO of The Florida Center for Early Childhood, and filmed a “Mind in the Making” workshop sponsored by the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
“It’s more than a film. It’s a call to action,” said Carlota Nelson, director of the documentary.
And that action can be summed into four main takeaways for all adults who parent, work with, or cross paths with infants.
First, the expression, “I was born this way,” is a myth, and though genes can influence some behavioral traits, “what determines future attitude and behavior are the experiences you’re exposed to as a child. And those have nothing to do with toys or money,” Nelson said.
They have everything to do with frequent, high-quality and individualized exchanges with adults.
1. A responsive and nurturing caregiver.
Respond to cues. If baby points to a cup, look at the cup and ask if they’re thirsty and offer water. When a 2-year-old turns away and wiggles during story time, ask if she would rather play. When a baby cries, hold him. Touch lets babies know they’re safe and is even proven to influence brain growth.
2. Use rich language.
Babies may not yet be conversationalists, but be a chatterbox. Adults who interact with babies using everyday words, especially face to face, help them learn language. In fact, the prevalence of “baby talk” at 11 months can predict the number of words recognized at 2 years old.