I am happy to be working with the Bezos Foundation to support their Vroom initiative which was developed based on the premise that every child is born with enormous potential, and every parent can help them realize that potential.
I recently spoke at a parenting event and shared about the importance of moms cherishing the special moments of motherhood, even on the most chaotic of days. As much as those everyday moments are important to moms and other caregivers though, they are even more important to children. Everyday interactions between parents and their children have a significant long-term impact in the lives of kids.
Science tells us that our children’s first years are when they develop the foundation for all future learning. Every time we connect with them, it’s not just their eyes that light up—it’s their brains too. In these moments, half a million neurons ﬁre at once, taking in all the things we say and do. We can’t see it happening, but it’s all there, all at work.
Vroom, an initiative from the Bezos Foundation, was designed to give parents and caregivers simple tools that turn everyday activities, like mealtime and bath time, into brain building moments where we can nurture our children’s growing minds. They help to empower parents and caregivers to interact with their children during their daily routines, engaging them in activities that require no additional time or resources but have long-term benefits. I think as busy parents the “no additional time” piece is so important because it means we can incorporate brain building activities easily into what we already do. Below are some great tips for parents to remember when interacting with their children.
Today the Bezos Foundation launched the Vroom Superheroes campaign to demonstrate the heroic role that every parent and caregiver plays in the lives of children, and reinforces the message that anyone can be a Vroom Superhero to a child. This video below tells the story of an aunt-turned-foster-mother, Camellia, and her daughter, Cammie, showing us a powerful example of how the everyday moments they share have a profound impact on both of them.
Here are ten easy ways that you can foster healthy brain development by maximizing everyday interactions you have with your child:
- Sit down for dinner as a family and ask children about their day
- Take a walk together and point out things you see along the way
- After school, ask children questions about what they learned that day
- Find things to count at the playground, whether it’s steps or the number of times they go down the slide
- Let your child help make the grocery list and find the items at the store
- Read a story to your child at bedtime and during the story ask them to guess what happens next
- Cook or bake together and share some of your favorite food related memories with your child
- Fold laundry together and ask questions about what seasons they would wear items of clothing (like a coat or a bathing suit)
- If you hear a sound ask your child what they think is making that sound and where it’s coming from
- Point out colors, shapes and words throughout the day