Brain Dev 2: “Education is everything we do with the child”

Observing and learning! Children learn from everything in their environment*Picture seen on Facebook

Observing and learning! Children learn from everything in their environment
*Picture seen on Facebook

In the first post in this series, I talked about brain development and specifically the development of neurons. I mentioned that even though the neurons that make up the brain are present at birth, they still need to be connected to be useful. This connection happens through use and this is where you come in as a parent or care giver especially in the first year. I ended that post by saying that parents can support their child’s development in the first year not only feeding and caring but also by education. This post will discuss that educational component.


Breast-feeding does not make your breasts flabby, saggy or flat

I struggled to come up with a more diplomatic title but in the end, I decided to go straight to the topic. In the last week I have met three moms-to-be who mentioned they were considering not breastfeeding exclusively or extensively because they don’t want flabby/saggy breasts. To say I was shocked by this sentiment and the fact that it was echoed by multiple people is a gross understatement. After much thought, I came to two conclusions.

  1. A lot of women (and probably men) are misinformed about breastfeeding
  2. The very many benefits of breast milk and breast-feeding are not as popular as I thought

So I thought I would write a post providing some information. In this post, I will address the misconception that breast-feeding makes your breast flat/flabby/saggy and discuss some of the MANY benefits of breastfeeding. I hope after reading this, exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months (at least) and extensive breastfeeding (for at least the first year) will be a clear choice.


Valentines day with children

I got a communication from my daughter’s school that said the following – “Dear Ma, Nina picked a boy for valentine’s day and you are required to buy him a gift. She is also required to come to school on the 14th dressed in red and white because we are celebrating love.” I have not replied because I am unsure of how I feel about this.

That was a Facebook status update made by a mummy friend a few days ago and I thought I would do a quick post about valentine’s days with children. The following thoughts and ideas are my opinion. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to deal with this kind of situations. We just have to decide what works with our belief system and what we are comfortable with.


A fun educational party for a 4-year old

Since yesterday’s post was so serious/technical, I thought I would do a lighthearted post today.
Warning: This post includes A LOT of pictures!

I believe part of a GoodLife is having wonderful memories and so I believe in marking birthdays, anniversaries and every special event.

Birthday parties can be a big deal in Nigeria and this includes parties for 1 year olds. They are sometimes celebrated with 100s of people, a DJ, canopies, catering, specialty cakes, souvenirs and sophisticated gift packs. Unfortunately, these parties seem to be more for the adult’s enjoyment than the child ‘s and after spending tens of thousands of naira, what most children remember is “Aunty give me gift!” You’re Nigerian if you get that.

Anyways we hosted a party for my nephew and I didn’t want to spend a lot but wanted it to be affordable, educational, memorable and fun for the children!

Here’s what we did!
Since he was turning 4, he was allowed to invite 4 friends. So including his sister, we had 6 little ones. This party was held indoors and we wanted it to be manageable plus I kinda like the idea of inviting the number of people you are celebrating. Each child got a personalized T-shirt as soon as they walked in. “How did you know my name?”… I loved the look of surprise on their friend’s faces when they saw that the shirts had their names on them.



BrainDev 1: … The moment they enter the world

The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth” – M. Montessori

This is another favorite quote of mine. Montessori believed that education must begin from birth since the child begins the work of constructing his intellect and personality the moment he is born. I actually think the greatness of the human personality begins at conception but that’s another story. Today’s post is going to talk about brain formation and why I agree with the thought that education should begin at birth. This topic is a little scientific but I’ll try to make it as simple as I can.

The Short and  Simple Version

A large part of brain development (which is linked to intelligence) happens between birth and the second year of life. Brain development slows down significantly after the second year. Therefore, education is very important in the first two years of life. The education that I refer to here is not necessarily putting the child in school i.e. education as we know it. The next post in this series will discuss the practical side of education from birth.


Makers of Men

“And if education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped for from it in the bettering of man’s Nigeria’s future. For what is the use Read more…