Inside the first grader's brain
What insights can neuroscience offer parents about the mind of a first grader?
By Hank Pellissier
First graders need to feel relaxed and emotionally secure for their brains to learn best. Research indicates that traumatic stress and fear releases toxic levels of the hormone cortisol, which can destroy neurons in the hippocampus, a region that supports factual and episodic memory. To protect a first-grader's confidence, parents and other important adults should give loving, encouraging feedback, as well as minimize reprimands and threats, and avoid shouting and spanking for discipline. Express sympathy if they're terrorized by nightmares or ashamed of bed-wetting. Many children continue enuresis until age seven or longer.
Photo credit: crispyteriyagi
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