The Big Bang Brain Theory of reading to babies
As a parent reads to their baby the love, emotion and calmness experienced through reading creates a powerful, positive energy that is deeply embedded in every child’s DNA
Ronan reading 'Before You Sleep' by Benji Bennett
Reading to your children! Usually when one talks about the benefits of reading to children they often refer to the more tangible, well-documented advantages of this very important activity. Without dispute, reading to your child from birth and beyond is probably one of the most important things you can do to fire up the nerve endings in their little brains and get them off to a good start to being clever little bunnies.
But here’s the thing, there are other more powerful forces at work when you read to your child that have nothing to do with academic intelligence. There is something more fundamental and powerful than communication skills and development of vocabulary going on behind those captivating little eyes of a newborn baby. This powerful phenomenon is what I refer to as my Big Bang Brain Theory for babies.
Just like the way the universe exploded into existence with protons and neutrons being created within just the first few seconds of its creation, all the neurons and synaptic nerves in a baby’s brain begin to connect and multiply from the moment they are born. This miracle of creation is replicated every day the moment a beautiful innocent bundle of happiness bounces into the world, draws its first breath and reacts to the shock of arriving in a strange alien environment. After spending nine long months joyfully swimming around in the comfort of mum’s safe, warm tummy, without a worry or knowing anything about the world in which it just arrived, everything changes.
The moment a baby is born and placed in a mother’s arms, their universe explodes into existence in a furnace of activity and creation inside their delicately protected little newborn heads. Instantly they develop an unbreakable bond with mum as they lie exhausted upon her rapidly beating heart. They immediately become receptive, responsive and influenced by every sound, every touch, every emotion and every feeling they experience.
Now here is my point and what I passionately believe to be true. Every second that passes after a baby is born, their brains are being irrevocably hardcoded as each memory and experience gets locked into each and every synaptic connection that is made. An unstoppable, irreversible force manipulates their DNA coding and draws a baby’s unique blueprint of who they will become. It is this force that defines their personalities, their capacity for empathy, their moral fibre, their resilience and ability to cope with adversity. It is this code at infancy that programs their ambitions, their drive and determination, their ability to communicate, their ability to love and to be loved, their ability to trust and to be trusted.
So, what has all this go to do with reading, I hear you ask? Why is reading so important from the moment they are born? Well, everyone will have their views based on their own experiences but for me it is simply this…
As a parent reads to their baby the love, emotion and calmness experienced through reading creates a powerful positive energy that is deeply embedded in every child’s DNA. Reading is the foundation of an open and honest relationship with your children as you help them navigate their way through life’s challenges in the hope that they will be happy, be able to cope with and be resilient to life’s adversities.
Nothing can be more powerful than the sound of your voice, the beat of your heart, the warmth of your embrace as you read to your baby. With a gentle kiss and telling them you love them before they drift off to sleep, what better chance will they have to grow up happy? It is this that can ensure peace for next generations to come, as they become our future leaders.