A Parental Guide to Brain Development

In the article “How a Brain Grows; Five Ways to Aid Development,” (Natural Awakenings North Texas, February 2012) Dr. Sandra Aamodt makes an excellent point with the statement that, “A child’s brain ‘raises itself’” when given good nutrition and a stimulating environment.

As a professional educator for more than 40 years, I have observed children (mostly teenagers) raised in various environments. Psychologists describe three major parenting styles that generally produce either children that become confident teens and adults, those who remain dependent on parents far too long and those who ultimately rebel.

Dr. Jim Faye, Ph.D., of the Love and Logic Institute, describes three parenting styles as “consultant,” “helicopter,” and “drill sergeant.” He would be in full agreement with Aamodt regarding the value of parents fostering self-control in their children. He encourages parents to adopt the “consultant” role, where the parent demonstrates (rather than telling), how to take care of one’s self, make decisions, resist temptations and accept responsibilities.

In my experience as an educator, I find that students raised in the consultant environment are more likely to take ownership of their education and achieve greater success. My contact with many years worth of alumni verifies this,  regarding success in the workplace and in their personal lives.

Their brain development is much more related to their having learned by doing with their parents than having been subjected to various “brain-building” techniques such as a regimen of baroque music and educational DVDs.

Ed Pilkington is president and founder of Willow Bend Academy, in Plano and Lewisville, TX. For more info call 972-599-7882 or visit WillowBendAcademy.com.

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