Big brains are hard to come by. Certainly few have achieved the status of Albert Einstein in the 55 years since his death, but the quest to unlock the secrets of his genius continues.
Every new parent embarks on this same quest. After all, who knows which of us holds the next Einstein in our arms?
So the task of Parents as Teachers parent educators is to help each new parent think about how to help their baby’s brain develop to its full potential. They do that by sharing basic concepts of neuroscience.
What sends messages to a child’s brain? Experiences. Sights. Sounds. Touch. Contact with people and things.
These messages get to the right place via the part of a neuron called an axon. It sends information to the part of a nearby neuron called a dendrite. Dendrites listen for messages being sent within the brain.
And where do dendrites and axons get together to talk to one another? They connect at a place called the synapse. The brain is filled with trillions of these connections. Synapses make up the communication system that allows messages to be sent within a baby’s brain and to every part of her body. Scientists say that each time a message is sent the brain better organizes the connections.
When neurons communicate with each other amazing things happen! A baby learns, sees, moves, speaks, thinks and feels.
That’s a lot of responsibility for anyone, let alone a new parent!
Hold on, I think I hear Parents as Teachers knocking on the door…..