It’s no secret that our brains are divided into two parts — the right and left brains. These two sides of the same structure may look pretty similar, but perform distinctly different mental tasks and functions.
Without going into too much detail, here’s an explanation of how each side functions:
Our brain’s left hemisphere is geared towards logic and making sense of things through order. It likes to take care of literal functions, and it also works to make sense of language and grammatical rules. Also, if a math or scientific problem is presented, it’ll most likely be the left brain that’s called into action.
Nurturing the left brain will allow a person to learn faster, and will greatly help them in whatever circumstance requires logical and critical thinking.
The right brain represents the opposite of the left brain. It mainly deals with things such as emotions, memories, and non-verbal things such as music, colors, facial expressions, etc. Crucially, the right brain is also important for developing creativity.
Spending time nurturing the right brain will lead to an individual becoming more creative at solving problems, and also more in touch with the emotions of themselves as well as others — which more often than not results in better EQ.
Ways to nurture your kids’ brains equally.
Now that you understand how each side performs and the tasks they do, you might be curious as to what the best methods are for developing both sides of the brain for your kids.
It’s an important question, too, especially considering that mental development is strongest during a kid’s formative years, and that we all would like our kids to have a head start from as early as possible.
According to expert opinion, there are various ways that we can use to ensure our kids have a balanced brain development as they grow up.
1. Put non-dominant sides to work.
If you weren’t aware, each side of the brain controls the functions of the limbs on the opposite side of the body.
To put it simply, the left brain is in charge of controlling the right hand and leg, while the right brain is in charge of the left hand and leg.
If you want to help your children develop both sides of the brain, you can put this mental mechanism to work by simply getting them to use their non-dominant limbs more often. If your child is right-handed, for example, you can ask them to try writing with the other hand.
It doesn’t have to be complicated exercises, neither does their writing need to be perfect. What matters is the practice and effort gone into stimulating the opposite side of the brain that’s usually less worked on everyday.
2. Utilize fun as a training tool.
Another way to develop both sides of the brain equally is via stimulation. An active mind develops more than one that isn’t.
Developing your kids’ brains doesn’t always have to involve things like homework. In fact, you can even use playtime to help give their mental faculties a workout.
You can utilize puzzles, games, and reading exercises to keep them sharp, and can cycle between different activities based on what you want to accomplish.
For instance, if you want to help your kids work more on the logical side of things (left brain), throw them something like a sudoku or a jigsaw puzzle. These activities usually require them to think logically in order to get to the solution.
On the other hand, you may want to work on arts and craft projects to get their creative side flowing (right brain), and you can throw in all sorts of activities here, ranging from coloring, to drawing, to learning musical instruments.
3. Get healthy!
Of course, it’s no secret that a healthy brain is a result of a healthy body. And to get both sides of your kids’ mental faculties firing on all cylinders, it’s important to get them physically fit!
If possible, get them involved in activities that require them to sweat and elevate their heart rate, and more importantly — do it regularly!
Aside from maintaining a fit body, your kids should also eat healthy. As the one in charge of their meals, you should make sure they get a balanced diet that incorporates plenty of brain-boosting foods such as fatty fish (salmon, cod, etc), fruits, nuts, and even chocolate.
Of course, be sure to give them everything in moderation, as the effects of such foods won’t magically make their brains better just because they consume more of them.
Finally, it’s also worth mentioning that a child’s brain development is greatly impacted by their psychological health. So remember that it’s important to keep your kids in the most positive and nurturing environment possible, and with as little exposure to stressful situations as possible.
4. Be proactive during communication.
One overlooked way that you can actively boost your kids’ brain development is by making the effort to communicate with them with purpose.
What this essentially means is that as a parent, you can take the opportunity to address things such as emotions, ask about their observations, and just getting them to think about the world around them in a more active manner rather than just soaking things up passively.
For example, when your kids have a bad day, you can talk them through what they’re feeling, and the things they can do to overcome the challenges they face in life (so they don’t experience the same problems again.
Or you could also look around at things and ask your kids why they think a device or a gadget is designed the way it is, or what purpose it serves. If they fail to get the right answer, you can step in and ask them to consider how stuff works and how they make sense.
While all these don’t outwardly appear to help brain development, the fact that they’re thinking about all these stimuli actually makes communication an incredibly effective tool for mental growth.
Let’s get to work!
Now that you have a clearer picture of how to cultivate both halves of your kids’ brains, it’s time for you to act on it!
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Use our bestselling titles like the Rasa Sayang Sing-and-Record Audio Book or the English Malay Chinese Words book to help your kids perk up their language skills while also taking in catchy tunes and beautiful artwork along the way (the perfect balance between left and right brain stimulation!