Love grows brains
Reading your baby a story. Singing a nursery rhyme. Smiling and giggling together.
These are all magic moments between a parent and child. But they’re also setting the stage for your baby’s lifelong health and intellectual development – and it’s never too early to start.
Research from New Zealand and beyond tells us that the early years of a child’s life are a crucial and unique opportunity in a child’s development. It’s a time of enormous potential, as these foundations impact on a child for life.
The message is that it’s love that makes a difference – ‘Love Grows Brains’. So the Wright Family Foundation created a series of 20 film clips as public messages to spread this message and support families. The Love Grows Brains clips, featuring everyday Kiwi families as well as experts in child development, showcase the critical importance of talking, reading, singing and interacting with babies and young children.
It’s all about those magic moments - you’re not just making memories, but setting your baby on the path to health and wellbeing. It’s so easy to make a difference in a child’s life.
Neuroscience educator Nathan Wallis tells us it’s not about genes, or alphabets, or numbers or colours. It’s about love and interaction:
“The more love and interaction a baby experiences in the early years with that one person, the more developed their brain will be. So it’s love that grows brains.”
And what does love look like? It’s simple. It’s about talking, playing, reading and singing with your baby, as often as possible, and as young as possible. It’s never too soon to start – even though your baby can’t talk back, or even react at all in the very early days, you’re still having a crucial and positive impact.
You are helping develop your baby’s brain, as well as important language, maths, reading and social-emotional skills to help prepare them for school and beyond.
Try some of these tips:
- Talk more. Narrate what is happening in your everyday life. Start a conversation.
- Talk differently. Praise effort, expand, and gift new words.
- Talk everywhere. Every moment is potentially a talking moment.
- Read books every day. The language in books is different from everyday conversation, and expands their understanding of the world.
- Start early. It’s never too early to read to babies. Books help build the bond between child and reader.
Look out for the Love Grows Brains clips during the TV ad breaks, or you can see all the Love Grows Brains clips at www.wrightfamilyfoundation.org.nz