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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reread: Brain Rules for Baby

It probably wouldn't surprise you if I told you that I read 90% of all the books I review for this book out of the library. Most books aren't worth reading more than once, and more importantly, if I bought every book I read, I'd be spending a ton of money. However, Brain Rules for Baby is an exception. I read this book last year as the first parenting book, and since then I've read a lot of parenting books, most of which aren't reviewed simply because I could not bring myself to finish them! Parenting books are in general badly written, have little or no scientific backing, and never say something in 5 words when 5,000 words would do. I have no idea why they're so badly written, but there you go. When I saw that the Kindle edition of the book was now $8.10, I remembered the book so fondly I went and bought it for my Kindle.

In short, if you are a busy parent to be or a parent of a kid zero to five, Brain Rules for Baby is the only parenting book that's worth your time! Heck, if you're considering being a parent, do yourself a favor and read this book so you'll know what to expect.

On the second re-read, I nodded and laughed at the stuff he was telling me that would happen that indeed happened. Yes, marriages get strained with the introduction of the little guy. Yes, expect your wife to throw up during the first trimester. Expect sleep deprivation. Human babies were never meant to be brought up by just one couple, so expect to get help and take as much of it as you can. Expect to be charmed by the little one's first smile (Medina calls it the "Megawatt smile.") Expect to have to work extra hard to overcome the social isolation that could set in inevitably if you don't pay attention. I'm very grateful that at least for us, we've been very lucky and have the opportunity to eliminate many of the usual stressors associated with having a child, but I shudder to think what the typical American family goes through.

In re-reading this book, I keep finding little nuggets of information. For instance, kids learn to lie at 3, and they tell a lie every 90 minutes by the time they're 4. I enjoy reading the segments about empathy and how to teach kids to read emotions. (I'm an incredibly un-empathetic person, so this is going to take serious work)

In any case, there are many parents I believe who should read this book, and every parent-to-be or parent-wanna-be should read this book. As usual, the people who most need to read this book won't, but hey, there's nothing YOU can do about that. Heck, even if you never want to be a parent you should read this book. It's just that good. Highly recommended I really should have named it the book of the year last year.

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