This video on Parenting for Brain Development and Prosperity from the Center on the Developing Child from Harvard University shows the importance of mindfully interacting with your child–something known as “serve and return”.  The serve is when a child attempts to interact with us and the return is when we meaningfully respond.

As we’ve been discussing the brain in my class, we have learned about all of its parts and functions, as I mentioned in a previous post.  The kids are fascinated by this.  We adults should be too–we can contribute so much to children’s development when we take time to learn and put what we learn into practice with them.

The great thing is, “serve and return” is something we do every day with our kids.  And, if we pay more attention to these golden moments that are ripe for brain development, we can not only take the cognitive aspects further, but we can also build a greater emotional connection and bond with our child.

This article, 5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return, also from the Center on the Developing Child, provides some simple ways to recognize the serve so that we can return.  Again, these are such simple, every day things that we do, but if we do them with the knowledge that mindful interactions are building a stronger brain and bond, maybe we will take more time out of our busy days to participate and enjoy.

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