Adam Floridia's Reviews > Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina
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's review
Sep 22, 11

really liked it
Read from September 16 to 22, 2011

Once others find out that you're having a baby, you can expect to be bombarded with the same question ad nauseum: "Are you excited?" Stupid question really (assuming you were trying to conceive in the first place). However, my standard, and most honest answer was "I'm excited to be excited" since there's really no immediate change and it certainly doesn't sink in right away.

As corny as it may sound, after reading this book my answer will now be "Yes, I am excited." The author does a wonderful job (for the most part) of establishing just the right tone: neither condescending and pretentiously academic, nor too kitschy and dumbed down. Backed in neuro science and numerous professional studies, his advice is logical and tested. Even the obvious stuff, like "pay attention to your kid" didn't just make me write "No shit" in the margins because the actual science behind it is explained.

The latter half of the book, though, did get more and more "touchy feely." Apparently teaching empathy is one of the most important things to do, so I guess the mawkish shift was to be expected. Also, the author just has a really strange need to include irrelevant descriptive details about the scientists whose experiments he describes: "a crusty, wild haired old philosopher" (99) or "a handsome polymath" (135). Finally, there are times when explaining neuroscience via kitchen metaphor work well...there are also times it does not and the two paragraph aside about Bobby Flay ("has red hair and a New York accent" [199]) are completely unnecessary.

Overall, though, reading this book made me excited to be a soon-to-be-dad!
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Reading Progress

09/18/2011 page 100

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Hey, wouldn't you trust a "handsome polymath" more than a "crusty ignoramus" or a "shifty-eyed yokel"? It adds credibility. Congrats again on the baby. Way to not shoot blanks!

Adam Floridia Hahahhaha--thanks!

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